I will change my shirt.
I will take off the ruby cardigan and put on navy.
I will discard pearls.
My neck will be free, unhindered by collars and bows, millstones.
I will wear a wide-brimmed black hat and look down.
I will observe the pavement and my feet stepping out straight in low heels.
My eyes will be shaded from the sun and my lids lowered.
No-one will observe any warm sparkle, my laughter lines will be redundant.
I will suck in my full lips and display only a thin, mean resignation.
My voice will emerge bland, monotone, and will refrain from shocking.

My pierced nostril will heal quite soon, I will send jewellery to my niece.
My nails will not be shiny; lustreless fingers will not rest languidly on a bar, caressing wine.
I will not be in pieces.
I will move smoothly, unmoved by thunder and lightning.
I will shun neon and seek the shelter of shadows, in the shade I will dwell, hidden.
For a while the van will bring letters, though I will absorb no news, nor respond.

Resplendent in fuchsia, my sister will visit, with flowers.
She will greet me effusively, and admire my new decor.
I will pull blinds, tone down her ebullience.
Reassured, she will sip tea, and leave shortly.

The fizz has subsided. The embers’ glow fades and in the morning the ashes are grey.
I will write in blue ink on lined paper, not disturbing the world.