‘You can’t be a poet, you’re too tender.
You’d never be able to stand the blows
it takes to tell another’s story.’
‘And besides that,
you don’t have a poet’s touch.
You burn me. You scratch me.
You leave gaping holes in me whenever you look at me.
You’re not soft enough to be a poet.
The noise in your head has to be turned down first.’
I yawned. Looked out the window.
Considered tenderly pushing him out of it.
‘So, what can a mess like me be?’
'Well,' he began steadily, like this was
the introduction to some grand speech
he had practiced in the mirror,
‘Lucky for you I love you too much to let you go,
so even with your flaws,
you can be mine.’
I waited for the punchline. It didn’t come.
He had his hands outstretched towards me,
waiting for me to take them and laugh with him
about my flaws all the way back to his place.
This was it. My fairytale.
Prince charming was a wolf in a secondhand suit,
licking his fangs at me in a rundown diner.
And here I realized, as I excused myself to
‘powder my nose’, and then slipped out the
side door, my worn slippers hitting the concrete
faster than ever before, that perhaps I am not a
damsel in distress, looking to be saved.
Maybe I am the villain. The obstacle.
Maybe every prince has been taught to save me from myself.
Or maybe, just maybe,
I am not a character that has been written before.
Maybe no woman has. We are too multi-faceted, too real.
We have circling wants that cannot be shoved into two hours
and have a happy ending slapped on them.
Maybe the stories are not telling enough.
Maybe it’s up to me."