Paths through Forests in Stories

How do we know we’re headed in the right direction?

I took the path of needles

and when the wolf bared its teeth at me

I thought that

everything was going to be alright because wolves, wolves only devour in fairy tales.

And when I wanted to tell you that I thought I might be in love with you, I didn’t because it was foolish and I was foolish too many times and sometimes I think about you and it’s like being underwater and hearing music and only the fish can understand the words.

And there is this story

about the water of life

and you have to walk up a mountain of broken glass

and past all of the pebbles

that are the souls of men

and you can’t turn to them,

you can’t ever turn to them or you’ll just be a stone, too.

And I thought about how I wanted to taste your skin. How I wanted my mouth to meet yours. I thought that falling was the hardest thing. But it isn’t really. The hardest thing is that sometimes you can’t stop falling. You just pirouette through the air forever and you never once hit the ground.

There are stories about

girls who get turned

into trees, into sea foam,

into statues.

In tales, there is always

the divine moment when

everything is returned to

everyone. The sleeper

wakes, the lover’s

eyes are replaced,  the hands

cut off return without even

the ecstatic pain of regrowth.

Sometimes I almost call you up and say that I like the way your name feels in my mouth. It tastes sharp and vibrant and like the first gulp of air after nearly drowning. I never do though and eventually this won’t matter.

The fairy tales that frightened

me most as a child

were never the ones about

wolves, about witches, they

were the ones about paradise.

They were the ones about people

who spend one night

there and return to the world

and find that one night is a thousand

years and everyone loved is

dust and your name,

no one remembers how

your  name tasted on my tongue the one time I was dreaming and I told you I loved you. I woke up and forgot that I hadn’t really done that.


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