Issue 1


I’m the companion to the Queen of England. She’s the honored guest at an auction. The two of us are seated in a tent, as though at war—Henry and the troops at Agincourt.

In her presence I’m flustered. I stand straight when I’m supposed to bow, bow when I’m told to kneel. I forget to address her as “Your Highness.”

When I drop the royal protocols, like a handkerchief, we are suddenly easy. We chat about flatware and the merits of stainless steel.

“You’re really quite interesting, Elisabeth,” says Queen Elizabeth to me.

And even as I hear the words, proud at our matching names, I see mine, as though a sad lot at auction, its spelling from another country.

Elisabeth Frost is the author of All of Us: Poems (White Pine), Rumor (Mermaid Tenement Press), A Theory of the Vowel (Red Glass Books), Bindle (Ricochet Editions, a collaboration with artist Dianne Kornberg), and the monograph The Feminist Avant-Garde in American Poetry (Iowa). She is also co-editor of Innovative Women Poets: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Interviews (Iowa). Frost has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation-Bellagio Center, MacDowell, Yaddo, and others. She is Professor of English and Women’s/Gender/Sexuality Studies at Fordham University, where she edits the Poets Out Loud book series from Fordham Press.