Tell them about the scars – lacerated, gashing, punctured
little wounds that add up into some survival
story. Add details as necessary: the injury resulting
from pen, knife, sword – the dragon
need not breathe fire. The knight – perished
or parted ways some years back? The coffin
need not be made of glass, the girl sleeping
need not wake up. The men need not be three feet small.
Yes, you are allowed apples in this room.
Tell them about the pumpkin, warmed
by medicated porridge, the clock that struck
its alarm far too early. Map the scene: take ten paces past the dollhouse
castle, tread through the goldmine beneath the hospital wards, take a left and hang
right. Pay homage to those without names and faces, dwelling
beneath the sidewalks. Heed not the hipster fairies- tonight’s dance involves
no coal. Ignore the golems and their silver bells, their electric guitars’ enchantment
only works on the weak-willed. The wolf
in the red hoodie will give you a name
for a name. Make no mention
of his smoke-stained teeth, those prosthetic claws.
Respect the old rules.
The crone with a mud-caked face will barter you
the truth for a single lie
guaranteed to save your life. Tell her what you saw
the night of the 17th: the witch’s limbs brewing
oxycodone with some crystals and spice, her eyes rolled upwards,
elsewhere while her body seizes, divining, and how you stood, unflinching,
eagerly awaiting a future among other futures, one where the scars didn’t stem
from your own discontented hands, a world where you would’ve lived
happily. Keep some secrets
from yourself.

wordpress made the linecuts wonky & it’s not super wow! but it’s the first thing I’ve written in 4 months & I’m at least happy for that.


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