This story is paired with “Cinderella” from Children’s and Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free.
Once, buildings whispered secrets,
& trees unfolded branches over me.
Then, the witch rubbed her jeweled hips
across my legs, & for a time,
doors confused me, & music,
which I ate like a smorgasbord,
stopped singing which fork
to use: those forgotten gestures.
The time I got harvested
like an ear of corn, snapped
& burned nearly crisp.
I hobbled to an evergreen stand
at the edge of furnace
smoothed across cool hills.
I recovered my slipper—
that bitch Cinderella thought it was hers—
& wandered out under cover
of drying needles.
James Ducat’s work has appeared in Word Riot, Cutbank, The Inflectionist Review, The Citron Review, Mojave River Review, Specter Magazine, Convergence, and others. He teaches writing at Mt San Jacinto College in Southern California, and lives with his son in a house painted pink.