The Terms of Engagement
She sprints on broken glass, two minutes to midnight,
never glancing at the crimson footprints
that trail her home.
She chokes on agony as she pulls the shards
from her soles, then shatters them
on the gravel below.
You’d never know she put them on that way.
Listen close enough you’ll hear
the sweet deception of her song. Don’t wander
too close—she’ll drag you to sea with her.
Her pain begs to be set free.
She opens her lips to speak, and chokes
on a knot bound tightly in her throat.
You’d never know she was drowning out of water, too.
Every prince believes they’d save the damsel,
but Grimms’ tales reap warnings
some find hard to sow.
What they don't understand is:
True love’s kiss is a spell that subsides—
she will always return for poison apples.
You’d never know she picked them herself.
So I say: go slay your dragon
and rescue the damsel,
but don’t say you weren’t forewarned.
She glides across the ballroom floor
as if her slippers had wings,
but watch the sleeves of her blue dress turn purple instead of pink.
You’d never know she pricked the spindle on purpose.