Entrances and Exits

At first I am Snow White, all rose cheeks
poison apples, dwarf water, diamond mines.
He arrives as the Fair King of Misfortune
a basket of elixirs at hand, becomes a dragon
that bellows and roars and forces bright gall
down my throat to bubble with sick slumber.
Next I am Sleeping Beauty, knight at the door
Prince Charming comes from the far countryside
all golden, all lance and spear and lion shield,
the thorny wedding veil I wear is parted only by
the chosen suitor, but as lips touch, the dragon
awakens in terrible thunder, sulfurous lightning,
the knight spears the dragon until he bleeds gold
carries me away in arms like halcyon wedding bells
to a limestone chapel where our court awaits us, but
it’s all a shadow play, Plato’s allegory in a cave
and we are merely bit actors, shuffled about the stage
by the director of fate, who is old tropes, long beard,
not quite sane, and my dreams are wind ripple waters
I am no queen, no princess, no angel in white disguise
and my prince and dragon disappear with the dawn, again,
I am alone in my bower, longing for a ghostly embrace.

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