Once you’ve glimpsed
the folding quarter, duplicate Queen
of Hearts, and coiled string,
you can’t unsee. Once you’ve solved
the floating guru, puzzle ring, and sword-stabbed
stranger, then you know:
a world where rabbits dwell in hats, where ribbons eternally extend…
was never real.
The day you start to bleed, your Mother scolds:
“You can’t come down in just a towel—
your father’s here.”
For your birthday, your uncle hands you pepper spray
wrapped in cold pink paper. You asked him
for a book. In your mind, his
clever hands, gloved
in satin, made the switch.
The stranger in the mermaid-blue mustang—engine
howling like five-hundred captured souls—tells you, again
and again, that it was only a joke, good Lord.
to be so angry all the time. You think
of glittering steel, rending tuxedoed chests
Not all men, my dear.
Keep your whistle close. But Oh! Notice
go out in that,” your lover begs—
he swears for your own sake. “Please
reconsider what you wear.”
Watch as I saw my assistant
in half. Watch
this lovely lady
Krista Lambert is a BFA student in Creative Writing in Texas. Previously, her writing has been published in SUNY Fredonia’s The Trident. She is a winner of Pop-Up Projects’ Ten Stories to Make a Difference contest, and her first book for children will be published in the UK next year. A long-time admirer of Gingerbread House, she is thrilled to have found a place within its pages.
Artwork: Rob Woodcox