sleepy (for_esme) wrote in poetryislove,
sleepy
for_esme
poetryislove

Once Ever After by Harryette Mullen

There was this princess who wet the bed through many mat-
tresses, she was so attuned. She neither conversed with magical
beasts nor watched her mother turn into a stairwell or a stoop.
Her lips were. Her hair was. Her complexion was. Her beauty
or just her appearance. What she wore. She was born on a
chessboard, with parents and siblings, all royal. Was there a
witch? Was she enchanted, or drugged? When did she decide to
sleep? Dreaming a knight in armor, she thought it meant joust-
ing. His kind attack with streamers. A frog would croak. A
heart would cough after only one bite. Something was red.
There was wet and there was weather. She couldn't make it gold
without his name. Her night shifts in the textile mill. She forgot
she was a changeling peasant girl. Spinning, she got pricked.
That's where roses fell and all but one fairy wept. It remains
that she be buried alive, knowing that a kiss is smaller than a
delayed hunger.
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