Fi­esta & Mock Or­ange

The London Magazine - - CONTENTS - Róisín Tier­ney

Here they come, stately, solemn, the bands­men with their gilded epaulettes ad­vanc­ing, ad­vanc­ing in goose step. Their drums make the crowd vi­brate.

Their queen follows them, trail­ing her eu­nuchs. Her painted doll’s face is beau­ti­ful and sor­row­ful. She sways a lit­tle on her golden float.

Each glass eye holds a glass tear. Solemnly, solemnly they march along­side her the pen­i­tents, drip­ping hot wax from their can­dle bou­quets.

They are all in their finest, bright silks, dark suits, some in bare feet in spite of the dust, – var­nished toe­nails, sil­ver an­klets.

Slowly, slowly they en­ter the tem­ple the bands­men, the marchers, the queen. She looks sad­der then ever in her can­dle-lit palan­quin

as they swing the censer, in­tone the rit­ual chant, be­hold the great rip­ping, the blood sac­ri­fice.

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