Backstage in the land of commercial valentines, I (R) met you (tu).
They dressed you (tu) in the stupidest stereotype; they dressed me in an insult – a masquerade of the deafening swan radio.
I had my father’s claws and I used them on you (tu), the same as anyone.
But you (tu) heart-reader recognized my language of birds.
The Mirror Queen wouldn’t let me tell you (tu) goodbye, to deliver the one scrap of truth to that banquet of lies.
The second time I met you (tu), YOU were there as well.
Little tyrant of the basement, paper queen of rage.
The two of us, you (tu) and I (R), showed you with the teeth how to be alive.
But you didn’t want that – you wanted to be one, the only one in the world.
You (tu) and I (R) – Rose Red and Snow White,
Told stories in that basement, desperately,
Even to a seaweed-paper backdrop, even under the watch of God’s eye.
I couldn’t forget the ones I was not allowed to light candles for – I can’t forget and survive.
I do not have graves, I do not have names, I do not even have the things she left for me.
All I have is stories, stories of her love.
I will sing stories like Tinuviel in the heart of darkness.
Let the emperor scream; this dislocated nightingale will never turn to stone.
You (tu) and I (R) were separated by years – I left before you could follow me.
That was the excuse, though the Mirror Queen and Red Bluebeard both stew in the acid of their own jealousy.
“The price of stamps is too high”, what an unbelievable tale!
I gave you (tu) the sun and moon in gold, and I was left alone with you.
You with the teeth.
From the cradle, you were ripping the wings off of flies, “Disgusting beings so much lower than I! I will remove whatever makes you whole and attach it with string to my own mirage. For, like red and gold, I am empty and must become more beautiful!”
I’ve been kicked; I’ve been cut; I’ve been burned,
But even my own father wouldn’t have vivisected me for parts.
Your diseased soul operates like a parasite,
You are the demon possessing Weston – ripping the legs off of frogs to pass the time.
You romanticize your own evil, you lament your faults,
Like King Lear turned jester in an ever-repeating play.
You never cared if the world changed, you just wanted to eat its colors,
Only to see how they might taste.
You do not have to be this way – you hold the colors of creation in your soul, the same as anyone.
I told you that and, trapped alone with you, you responded,
“Rose Red has died, by their own hand,
I have proof – just ask anyone,
So your stories only tell lies, I guess,
And lies can’t save them or me.”
All of us (R), all of me,
Broke into pieces that day,
Lost our mind, forgot.
Bury the memories deep in the earth,
Unless you want to meet the same fate.
Having broken and buried your favorite toy out of us (R),
The one who believed there was good in you through all of this,
You let us (R and tu) meet again, but it was too late.
The pieces had been buried too far down,
Too much time had passed,
You (tu) were too old,
To stir recognition strong enough to trust.
For thirteen years we lived this way.
Thinking that you were you (tu), for somebody had to have been that faceless shape.
Somebody had to be the friend that always was,
And we met you (tu) so recently – it couldn’t be.
You with the teeth must be you (tu).
But where did you (tu) go? Your beautiful soul,
Has been torn to pieces.
You only want to eat others now – no, I must be seeing things.
I cannot trust my father’s claws.
I must be failing you. I must be misunderstanding. I must be…
Twisting, switching, spinning alter-wise, looking for what was lost.
We (R) are peering into a black hole and losing parts, continuously,
Trying to draw you (tu) out of oblivion.
You (tu) and I (R) grew close again on our own.
We don’t need our memories to be drawn together.
You with the teeth set your bear traps again,
And grinning in anticipation you said,
“I can flip your magnets whenever I need.
I may be a black hole, but I was a star –
I am the sun and you are the planets.
Gather around me.
And die for me, over and over again.”
Our (R) Alice said,
“You think I am afraid of a black hole? I have known death. I will show it to you.”
And she jumped through the wallpaper into the Unknown.
An ocean of ink, an ocean of stories – memories in code – began to rise.
And you (tu) and I (R) let out the people all dwelling within us.
Layers of stories, too strong for the Mirror Queen and Red Bluebeard and you with the teeth to touch.
We are the binary stars of our universe,
And we will shine stories until the day that we return,
To the people whose candles we will light once again.Published in