by Marina Carreira
Avó taught us monsters crawled out of woods
on rainy nights, climbed roofs, ready to fall
from blackened chimneys unless we set a pot
of boiling water to burn them alive as they
came down. I believed this until I saw them
in the open, trading woods for Wall Street,
nightclubs and the world wide web. None
ever ruined unless their demons crept out
from the caves of their own hearts, and
certainly never hunched over anything but
the devoured. I’ve walked miles and miles
and miles away from that hard earth littered
with pine needles and bottles, to a plane of
endless juniper, sea spreading itself beneath.
On this side of recovery, Snow White runs off
with the maid. Little Mermaid screams herself
back in existence. The witch feeds Hansel
and Gretel her own limbs, nary a part to waste.
In the Church of Make-Believe, a Holy Mother
with blade in mouth, our fists, candle-lit.
Such crazy talk, women with wolves
for husbands say. Folklore:
that you walk out of the forest
the same way you walk in.
Marina Carreira (she/they) is a queer Luso-American poet artist from Newark, NJ. She is the author of Desgracada (Bottlecap Press, 2023), Tanto Tanto (Cavankerry Press, 2022), Save the Bathwater (Get Fresh Books, 2018), and I Sing To That Bird Knowing It Won’t Sing Back (Finishing Line Press, 2017). She has exhibited her art at the Newark Museum, Morris Museum, ArtFront Galleries, Monmouth University Center for the Arts, among others. Find her on Instagram at @savethebathewater.
Photo by Erhan Dayı on Pexels.com
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