Your fingers feel
The chilled
And life-giving damp
Of leaves on
Mazed hedges
And it seaps
Past your wrist
Into the rest of you
The mouse that
You know is there
And either teases
And blatantly stares
Or scutters for those
Dark places
When spotted

Like Alice
Down her rabbit hole
You are compelled to follow
Secretly wanting to leave
The dull and drab behind
But fear creates a tar pit
And you are Br’er
Smiling through disgust
At the way it clumps your fur

Attempts to come clean
To separate it from you
Meet with resistance
This ink won’t cling
To paper
Or rub off
On branches
Used to detangle.

But you will be Columbus
But to discover virginity
Without designs
You will be the Entomologist
But to study and admire
Your wings
Without camphor.
You will be Snow White
But to forever see
Your reflection
Free of malice.

Because these are not like
Cages that harness your breath
They are not the shields
That guard your heart
These bones are unfired clay
To be shaped to your
To be moved at your
Your own tarpit
Your own potion
With you on the edge
Your own Merlin
Deciding how to
Stir and
Mix and
Cast the spells
That will immerse you
Without staining you.


"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
-Albert Einstein