That girl is full of swans
– though her hair is dark as spilling ink –
tall, chalky feathers stuff her heart and lungs.
Graceful as those proud and ponderous kings,although
she is skin-thin and scissor-tongued,
and holds her bones as careful as a dancer,
trying not spill the rib cage.
Look close –
– the pores of her skin are a billion open eyes.
A poppy flower rolls between her thighs, and
she seems all dazzling fragility;
like running watercolours,
or starling murmurations whirling in the freezing air.
An ugly sister who shrinks in the rain,
laughing at how perfectly the slippers fit her smaller feet.
She’ll tell you that it’s all about control,
and looking as sick on the outside
as she feels within.
You cannot force a lonely princess into heavy adult flesh,
she will rebel, until wolf’s fur tickles the inside of her skin.
Until her body is a glassy coffin,
for the wild creature that she could have been.
Tucked away in her heart’s hollow cavity,
she has folded herself into the pages of a love story,
following a white skeleton
that rises from a living grave in silence fierce as fire.
And it isn’t all the mirror’s fault;
her entry into womanhood was cracked,
and like the tales she watched witches
sail away in the shell.