You can ne-
ver wash off the
soot. It remains —
deep, encrusted beneath
the skin, cascading an aura
of dust invisible to all but fairy
godmothers, hovering in the peri-
pheral, their incandescent wings
thrumming quiet judgement. Well-
bathed, doused in lavender oils,
draped in blue silk, hair pinned
in pearls, neck adorned in jew-
els, I can still smell the embers
that were my only embrace for
so long. Waiting to wed my be- trothed, I can
see my stepsisters stand, unsmiling, but relieved, freed
from their mother's plans by my good fortune. As I kiss my husband,
I won- der if I'll ever grow accustomed to decadence, if the linger-
ing bitter taste of charcoal will ever leave me after years
of soft living in this great castle — I hope not.
Author's Note: If the concrete image of this poem falls apart for some reason (if you're reading this on a mobile device, for example), I've attached a photo so you can see how it's meant to look.
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Over the Hill and through the Woods (Attys)Poetry
"Over the Hill and through the Woods" is a collection of poems inspired by fairy tales and folk lore. It will also be home to the poems I intend to submit to the Attys. Cover art is by Ivan Bilibin (edited to suit my needs) and is in the public do...