Doll Dressed as Red Riding Hood

She wouldn't've been bought wearing this costume;
she would've been bought naked.

— The doll's curator, on showing her

She has the look of the sold. Death puts red
between her legs. Inspect her hand-made frock

for evidence. Was it the woods she came from?
Or perhaps some sweaty room where loud rude

men chased her across walls with paint? A rod
of oak straightens her spine so she won't morph

into some hunting bitch. Someone's old lock
& key are lost in her cold throat. We raid

her face with our staring. We scrape her wax
mask with our glances. See how she is blind;

hear her glass eyes rattle in her head. Glued
into her heart are nails from a cross. The ache

she makes in our throats is not speech. The rind
of her face slowly melts beneath her hood.