John Millais, today I pose, frozen, just for you -
a blank canvas, your lonely soul-saddened muse.
Love me with the iridescence of your inspiration.
I can be whoever you want me to be -
Beata Beatrix to Dante Rossetti.
But to you I am Ophelia, and we are alone.
Allurement to your compulsion to create and paint,
ever patient, never late, though this ice-shimmery water
slices my nicety, has me tingling hypothermic-faint.
I breathe fragrant big-bloomed flowers, hydrangea panicles
glitter in my lungs like starburst pinnacles.
Water-mirror reflects back crystalline light,
this fern-feathered pool. The flame-copper fronds of my hair
unfurl in your fantasy, my beauty bends like a lily
to softly kiss your canvas, your brush gently caresses my curves.
I hope your fame remembers my reality,
and how my vision camera-caught your creativity.
On the glacial, arctic wastes of my wasted mind, blanked by laudanum,
whitened by nauseous opium, colour-clouds burst,
water lilies open starry pink hands in a pool of jewels.
This cold clutch is finally unclenching.
My stillborn child, that crib-cooled one,
light-cradled, thaws the bone-biting chill,
reclaims me from this dream-drenched, prismatic pool.
*Lizzie Siddal was a model for the Pre-Raphaelite artists