Anne of Cleves

By Hannah Sothcott

You beheaded your second wife, so I have reason to be concerned by your affection. You tore apart the country’s church to get rid of your first wife, causing chaos that bordered on anarchy. And the death of your third…was it a fortunate release? Must I consider you?

Yet I can’t ignore you. The possibility of my future slaughter or exile dissipates when I behold your stocky frame and freshly trimmed beard of rust. Your authoritarian, beastly shadow defying my inhibitions. Clouding my innocent notion of a conscience, which has the potential to turn to murk I am well aware. A boggy pit I may sink into unknown.

Your careful words gloss over my logic. But though I wrangle with my desires and force your artificiality up against a worn tower wall, it makes me yield my abortion of a feminine sword. It feels more painful to doubt you.

Whether I think I love you or not, we wed tomorrow. I re-align my mind and take every word of yours as gospel in the hope that you’ll love me, that you’ll throw your wild sea of unrelenting unpredictability into a well of unconquerable stone.

Yet I don’t want you to lose your will to conquer. It levitates me into ecstasy beyond the spider web of doubt. I think conclusively that the risk of slaughter, exile, or whatever other ideas you have in your bloody chamber are risks I will take for a feeling beyond any capacity of reasoning.

I just hope I won’t regret it. I hope these feelings aren’t that of the women before me. Pray it not a panoply of falseness. Pray I am not the blessed fool.

Image: Showtime

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