Sleeping Beauty and the treachery of images

they say her dress

obscured her face when they found her in the river

he as young as his eventual wife would be

when she went from girl to muse

muse is a tricky thing, Child

who never was a pipe

I inventory both the cause and the cure for addiction

The need, the proper remedy, the clouds white amidst blue in the cup of your head

Chose a different slumber

Not opioid, not heroin, not poison in the fruit or spindle, not locked in a room, not guarded by dragon

Medicinal sleep

Antiseptic reset, white coats, gently beeping monitors

Let the girl rest

Let her own dreams fell the dragon

So that when the spell is broken 

The clouds and sky will spill out over her

Beautiful, fragile babies

What if this is the real world?

what if this is the real world?

what if you are the ghost?

what if it is your own child

you see in the sudden picture 

on the other side of the scrim 


worlds both together and apart

You do the math when 

you see her–how old she 

was, is, will be

If she makes it that far

Refrain in your head thudding 

like fists on plate glass

because you are the ghost

voice thin and impossible

just the other side of glass

as you watch her slowly 

slip away.

Heroin Gone

Looks like deep


Draped across the seat

across the bodies of these hungry


 Immobilizing poison

Shot into blood vessels, skin 

I call to you, no answer

Try to warn you

This venal monster 

Hunts then kills its prey

No answer, Sleeping Beauty

Already heroin gone

Who takes apples from strangers in a storm?

Do you believe in ever after?

All the tropes of fairy tales will not save us from 

The story of a little girl trapped

In this worst kind

Of nightmare tries to call

for help

Nothing left

As the anatomical apparatus for sound and breath:

Lungs, rib cage, windpipe 

Collapses beneath the weight,

The force of  blows to this chest,

All alone,

Of the used-to-be