FAIRY'S CHAIN MAIL
When the villain loved herself
flowers grew into the ground;
talking skies surrounded me
full of people with arms for wings
flapping hard to demonstrate
it was their effort made them fly
and not the magic from the witch.
I worked at a grocery store selling
air: we took the breath from the mouths
of customers and gave it back
to them at a cost of arcade tokens.
After work I'd go down to the pier
and spend hours playing skee ball
until I had enough tickets to exchange
for food - most expensive was the stalk
of broccoli they strapped to the wall.
I paid for them to take their prisoner down
but they'd always replace that symbol
by tomorrow. On the way home it
was summer after the rain when the witch
died young. Certain things locked in place.
Lamps line streets with nodding heads
I search sidewalks to be reflected
leaves shine with water they collected.
At home, I still must press the record button
that replaced our door bell so the family can
save our arguments and later prove just
who was wrong. We leave the CDs in a bin
on our front lawn with all of our greatest hits.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
At a red light, I listen to my blinker
as the night walls off every road
but the one taking me home
where I find dad killed
germs with hands like moons
scrubbing holes in the earth
until fire cracked through it.
In my room
I bow to the bureau
I bow to the bed
Last night I lay on the carpet crying
at a friend's in dark so dense
we floated, rocks on water
shouldering the surface
when she said, "think happy thoughts."
I told her I don't have any.
"What about Jumanji?"
I said I liked Jumaniji.
Alex unwrapped her hug from me.
We all went back to try to sleep
people's heads by people's feet.
Claire Alexandria practices dying in New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alien Mouth and DIAGRAM.