I want fairy tales where princesses become their own dragons.

Where scales hide, slick and iridescent under parchment thin skin,

monsters in plain sight.

I want an Alice so high she sees her blood as poetry.

Lovely and thick and able to fill the bath tub four times before she passes out.

Mouth slack, hair askew, ecstasy written in every line of her broken dolls body.

I want a little mermaid who is small in size but huge in hunger,

who sees a prince and wants him so much that when he rejects her

she drags him into the sea.

Drinks his last breaths down, greedy in the way only little girls are,

and keeps him, rotting and waterlogged,

forever.

I want a Snow White who didn’t ask to be pretty.

For her face to earn her the hatred of a queen,

or unblemished skin the love of a man she never wanted.

I want a girl filled with fire and the weight of a destiny

that would train her to perfect silence.

When she bites into the apple, the heart of a poisonous tree,

she does not go quietly.

She fights and screams, hands clawing against the glass,

defiant until the inside of her coffin is completely

red.

When she wakes she is no longer wanted,

for she is no longer

pretty.

I want a Cinderella who runs away from home.

A girl held together by the armour of her father,

who in instead of placing faith in magic and men,

midnights and misery,

places it in herself.

After years spent in her very own far, far away

she returns to a kingdom that never knew her name.

She meets the prince of her story, but by then he is a king

with a flaxen haired wife and no part of her is jealous.

She serves him as the knight she has become,

all courtly violence and forgettable face.

But there are parts of stories that are left unwritten,

are felt but never told,

that live in the hush between lips and lines and pages.

Laid out in her marriage bed, delicate limbs lost in the sea of sheets,

the queen kisses Cinderella’s hands, presses love to her callouses,

traces a spiderweb of scares from her face to her feet.

She is gentle and lovely, soft in word and soft in deed,

perfect in all the ways Cinderella never was,

and never wanted to be.

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