Once upon a time,
a rose-colored girl
fell in love with her dreams.
Her mind never sat idly by
to vast valleys,
overflowing with poppies the color of sunshine and moonlight
To the caves of huge beasts made of leaves
their backs built like cacti, all spikes and sinew
To the stars she was named after,
hoping only for a glimpse of the galaxy that she felt within herself.
The kingdom went aflame.
The peasants had seen towns drowned by the tears of clouds
And kings speared through the heart with a knife of greed,
their own hand gripped around the hilt
But a girl
enchanted by her own mind?
Make yourself smaller, they shouted
Let someone else dream for you.
She dissolved into their cries
She floated along their river of expectations
Until she washed ashore
stranded on the banks
with a prince made of
He tried to splinter her into pieces
Grind her up until all that remained
could be bottled up
and sprinkled on his breakfast
when his porridge left too dull a taste in his mouth.
But in the moments when she was alone
when her small voice echoed in the empty castle
Visiting fairies that weaved vines in her hair
and tigers that sang low, sad songs
But more than anything
of open windows, unlocked doors, and a smile that didn’t suffocate
I want to know what’s in your mind, the prince said one day
The princess painted him her dreams,
the canvas a rainbow of hope and life and prayers
And he stared at the canvas blankly,
replaced the canvas
with a heavy fist,
and destroyed every inch of her soul
was how it ended.
“I would rather
sleep my life away
than allow you
to stop me
For the first time,
her mouse voice
And so she escaped
into a slumber
Dreaming of women made of crystals
and boys made of glass
She remained in this world forever
Where trees were made of hope
Where the sky smelled like home
Where smiles never bit
Where she was entirely her own.