Vermeer's Girl

by Terese Mason Pierre

It was common in that time to keep
some things to oneself, to study

the careless balance of her face to
black and eager sun, starving each side.

To be baroque is to be beautiful
and ugly. Imagine, for a moment,

what she would consider of a suitor
who gave her a misshapen pearl:

if her cheeks would persist in alabaster, if lips
would stretch to bless sounds of gladness.

We wonder what costumes her thoughts wear—as if
hastily drawn from a dialogue, she expects—

what she shares like flowers and wine, and what
she keeps, wrapped round and round in blue.

Terese Mason Pierre has had work published or forthcoming in Acta Victoriana, The Claremont Review, Occulum, and Young Voices, among others. She is an associate editor of Lady Lazarus Journal and the poetry editor of Augur Magazine. Pierre lives in Toronto with her family and cat, Benjamin. You can view more of Terese’s work on her website:, or follow her on social media: @teresempierre.