Fall 2017 (Volume 21, Issue I)




We got it wrong – the prince’s kiss puts her
to sleep as, for decades, he and his friends
watch football farting, pelting
the TV with a hail of Cheetos whose
orange poison pollen she scrubs later
on hands and knees from the carpet, a
dreaminess steeling across her eyes
green as thorns, green as the walls where
she sleepwalks from room to room
keeping up the spell of sameness –
mop and broom, tuck and iron – and only
when he chews steak, retells the story
of how he kicked the ‘dumbass teacher’s
dog down the road,’ does she say
‘that’s horrible’ before – her eyes fluttering
like a doll’s – she slips back down
into the stream of her living sleep, waves
lapping at her like a white dress, tiny
version of herself screaming in her
ear – and things carry on in just this way
until one night after scrubbing and cooking
for hours she sees, on the local news,
a dead prostitute’s face grinning like
a scooped out pumpkin, and following some
impulse, brings hypnotized lips to the screen,
kisses the woman’s pixellated white brow,
and when the prince next pinches her ass
& leans in for the kiss, she slaps him,
packs her bags and leaves, truck peeling
out down the dirt road from the castle,
windows jammed down, pulse singing at
her finger-tips, and they find him stroke-dead
in front of the TV six months later in the
now dirt-caked house, limbs bloated,
eyes pecked out by their pet parrot,
and all the coroners agree that they’ve
never seen such an ugly corpse.

Pin It on Pinterest