Sometimes I fall asleep and dream
that the Prince has chained me
to the bed with chicken-wire—
but I awake and there are no chains
to hold my body down, only fears—
Each night, owls circle above my bed
like they’re waiting to betray me.
Each night, a man steals a piece
of my body. In the morning,
I am left to repair my own fingers
on molding bed sheets.
Once, I opened my mouth to scream
and nothing came out except
dried milkweed and crumpled beer cans.
The birds have come
to peck out my eyes. I know
from the way they envy me.
I tell myself—Beauty, it’s better
to give than to receive.
What can we expect, when the animals
are left to do what is right in their own eyes?
Who can predict their coming and going?
I see the gift shop. A ladder has fallen
outside the window, and is taken
to ivy. Even the window is slowly consumed.
I worry that in time, the light too
will be taken from me.
’s work has been published in various magazines, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and received the 2012 Henrietta Spiegel Creative Writing Award. She was a reader for the Delmarva Review. Her collections include Your Son (The Florence Kahn Memorial Award) and Rotary Phones and Facebook (Dancing Girl Press). Check out her work at: http://artemisagain.wordpress.com