You are not the Empress,
you destroyed their lives at conception.
You were built for escaping
and maddening journal entries.
There are choices
and there are no choices,
like jumping hurriedly from
the sixteenth floor.
Their masks, small, enchanting,
will haunt your dreams
and you don’t have a choice
even if you cling to them.
I awoke dreaming into the same town where my dreams take me in sweet encumbrance, always lonely, pacing or running, to or from, they are the same.
There is a castle there but I rarely go in, because I followed him once, screaming that I could not love him, into a basketball hoop forest, and arenas where the ground is caked with sandy blood.
Another time, I waited tables in a red and yellow diner with no walls, but they fired me for never showing up. “I am only here every so often,” I tried to explain, “like Pevensies and Michael J Fox.”
The lake once poured forth crocodiles, barely chewing the toes of my howling infants, breaking my mind with biting consistency.
And the hedge maze: cowering trampolines hide there, and rope bridges pass over elegant swamps.
Beyond a chipping playground, red paint and lead nightmares, lies the cave.
I wandered there this time, and upon arriving, felt your presence. I looked up and breathed. You had written my name, a thousand times, a thousand ways, a thousand cuts. I curled up inside your handwriting
like a closed tomb,
like a fragrant ocean,
like a pulsing womb,
like a rocking motion.