They would have hewn her a glass coffin
had pinewood not been so plentiful. And kept her
above ground, had her bruises faded. Kissed her,
had any been princes. I guess the huntsman had his way
after all, because they rolled her and her heart into a box.
They said a few words, had a few drinks,
paid the man who’d beaten her to death.
She’s naked when she finally wakes,
underground and alone. They’ve sold her dresses
given away her shoes. All the dwarven men a hundred
fifty years dead and she’s buried deep beneath
some asshole’s trailer. She swims her way out,
through thick roots of a tree’s grandchild,
overturned railroad ties, lost bottles and coins
she does not recognize, her withered skin
pulling from her bones.
By the time she hits the surface, what’s left of her
gleams hard in the moonlight.
For weeks now, we’ve been coming home
to all of our beds pushed together
in our living rooms, bits of crumbling tendon
still in the folds between our sheets.
Our liquor bottles slightly lighter
our apples spotted brown.
Lauren Annette Boulton
Lauren Annette Boulton is currently an MFA candidate studying poetry at Bowling Green State University, where she is staff editor on Mid-American Review. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Bayou, Great Lakes Review, Kenning Journal, Eunoia Review, and Cardinal Sins.
Artwork: Brooke Shaden, “my little bluejay”