Bildungsroman by Brianne Grothe

Once upon a time there were princesses & monsters
jewel-encrusted shoes & flames
diamond rings & studded fangs

& then comes the time of tears & blood on the spinning
wheel, a golden afternoon down the rabbit hole
dragons and trolls come to eat your first child alive

Leaves on the bottom of a stained coffee cup, the
one with the hand-painted flowers & the handle
severed off:

“There will come a time where cycles & red & hymen
are the same, where the maiden sits down for tea &
cigarettes with the whore, Eve will glitter like a
vampire & bring forth more demon babies than
Lilith by the same seed

“Where apples bear yellow skin & red heart centers
& the good witch with her missing teeth & her
longtime lover dine on whiskey & marijuana

“He will fall down to the dirt like the devil seventy
times seven & great visions will come upon him
as he descends, but he will always rise like the
angel he really is

“The last time he will fall is into your body
where virgins & sluts play hide-and-go-seek
until sunset & weave rainbow ribbons
through each other’s hair, he will puncture
you with the kisses of his tongue until your
lies bleed out, black, blow green smoke into
your mouth until your soul bursts, he will
puzzle piece by piece, across many hushed
nights, the very nature of his sins, & you
will tell him it takes a lot for a person to turn
bad.”

Brianne Grothe is a recent graduate from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in English. Her poetry has been published by her university’s undergraduate literary journal Frontier Mosaic as well as by The Allegheny Review. Besides writing poetry, her passions include destigmatizing mental illness, making connections between sexuality and spirituality, trying to reconcile her desire to be a domestic goddess with her lipstick feminist agenda, and sharing cat memes on Facebook. You can follow her on Twitter @womaninredclay. 

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