Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel–I dreamed in other women’s names, in their guided interiors, lay fairytales.

I cant help but wondering if my biggest fairytale is the one where I assumed every role:
Atop a racing steed, I arrive at my own rescue.

In glimmering fantasy, I am my fairy godmother.

I am the trusty sidekicks, prologue, epilogue– an exhausting array of facets that only leave me panting.

I’m so terrified of reality tearing his hands into me that I am coated in intangible barriers thicker than any bricks he can lay.
Guarded is the past tense of hurt.

Walls seem more stately than scabs,

And I’d rather set myself on fire than suffer a burn at someone else’s flame.

After all, I am incendiary.
This is my weight,

A chosen gravity,

Glued to an emotional purgatory where I equate distance and closeness.

Conveniently, arms-length is the depth of my armor.

Believe it or not, beneath it,

I’m soft.

Beneath it, I cry at cartoons.

I love sweets

And hugs

And thoughtful notes.

I am gooey and sensitive.

And somehow,



through callouses and scar tissue,

Is someone who believes in fairytales.

Inside, I dare to be something more than alone.

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