410 needs to be revised:
“Once upon a time” needs to be once upon a time when you were
dormant (not a doormat...) when you passed out in the tragedy intrinsic to awakening,
when princes climbed the ladder princes think is manning like peyton quarterbacking,
more a habit of the Grimm than subtle magic ™ with the wand that does the trick
(shall I say it?)—of pleasuring. Why take chances

with happy ever after? With wicked exes? In-laws? Sisters? You have to wield the wand
yourself, when princes stay convicted for a minute (see Cosby), weaponize the spindles
with GHB or “roofies”—pricked again?

You have to tell the tale yourself: That sleep is when the anima reveal in little dresses ample
asses. In heels, well-toned calves. They have the banging bodies that you used to have, and
they’re disdainful. O, you again, they say, tired of this game in which you gin the dim
excuses. The hags appear at crossings (wink). Can you hear? they ask, in whispers. Princes
always sleep with someone else. THE END of happy ever after.

Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellen’s latest poetry collection is The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin. Her credits include two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento, and her award-winning collection Umberto’s Night. Her work has appeared in AscentBarrow StreetThe Carolina QuarterlyColorado ReviewFour Way ReviewGrist, jubilatNew American WritingNew LettersNorth American ReviewPrairie SchoonerPuerto del SolThe RumpusSewanee ReviewSpoon River Poetry ReviewSubtropicsThe Sycamore ReviewVerse Daily, and West Branch, among others.

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