I have worked for this. I have left
a path in the woods, shiny objects
placed strategically for you to follow
in lieu of signage, knowing you would
sense the importance and not stray.
I have talking ravens who croak secrets
and a fox who darts redly along as a guide.
I left nothing unplanned. I left you food
along the way, clear water to slake your thirst,
boots with lug soles for when yours wear out.
There was never any doubt. I left you none.
Soon: a clearing, a small house (not made of candy,
no, my love, this is not that story) with the door
unlocked and a fire in the grate. A steaming bath.
Dinner on the table and slippers under it and
a good book for reading and a good beer for drinking.
And the Beast waiting in the shadows for you to
accept the rose (yes, this is both that story and
not that story, as you came here of your own
accord) and come to her when you are ready
You are ready
And your hands on me, your mouth, all of that
leading to all of this, this night, this place, the small
magic two people make together when things are right
And after, as you sleep, I open my mouth
I swallow you whole
It could never have ended any way but this
All stories are a trap; they all end like this
The only way to happily ever after
is to eat what you love alive
Amy Durant lives in New York’s Capital Region and works as the Senior Web Editor for an award-winning daily newspaper. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from Binghamton University and her work can be seen in Sundog Lit, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal, Fourth & Sycamore, The Museum of Americana, and 3Elements Review. Her book of poetry Out of True was published in 2012.
Artwork: Laura Makabresku, “Sometimes there is a dark character in my dreams..”