Pretend 

pretend you are a stranger and I am one of those uneven folk you meet at a coffee shop almost from the moment you sit down I have begun to tell this unraveling story about children left alone in a locked room for hours and a fire and a crooked judge, a baby filled with light and her mother, a figure unfairly edited out of all the relevant fairy tales who then ends up dying, not “poison apple” but poison nonetheless and when they come for her with all the accoutrements of salvation there is none left for her, no magic, no fairy godmother, no antidote as the EMTs say oh, it’s (only) Badamo…which is why I, this intrusive stranger, ramble on and on in the coffee shop jamming words into the dam of unrequited 

Grief

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

Heroin Gone

Looks like deep

Sleep

Draped across the seat

across the bodies of these hungry

Children

 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

girl.