Friday, 15 May 2015

12. Who asks

It is only witches and stepmothers who ask:

who is the fairest? who wins? am I
the one who gets the most? As if
love were sacks of grain and dull rubies,

as if the act of asking
didn’t already make you lose.

And yet, the girl
cannot help but place the words upon
her tongue.

Tell me. How much?
Tell me again.

Until she is smothered
in a bathtub of pink declarations
and rubber ducks

where every bubble says
“the most” as it implodes.

The girl knows
she is spoiling herself for the gutter girls,
the look-both-way boys, but

lately she has been
dreaming of yellow steamrollers.

She thinks—she may be sodden
and spoiled, and yet

it is worth it for every soft pop
of her heart
as the foam subsides.

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