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 upon a time, when I sunk my fingers deep
in soft, wet earth beneath hazel limbs, cracked
open nuts with my teeth, I was boyish. When I began
to bud and curve and glisten I was told to cover
my jewels, lock my box. I could not wear my first face,
that secret in my mind’s turret. Expected to wait
for some knight to burst through, his lance in hand.
To make silver and silk wishes while picking lentils
from ash. Why is it a fight, always, to be she reflected
in eyelid mirrors, burning blue-hot at the core.
Jenn Monroe is the author of Something More Like Love (Finishing Line Press, 2012), and her poems have appeared in a number of literary magazines, both in print and online. She was executive producer for the online literary blog Extract(s): Daily Dose of Lit and executive editor for Eastern Point Press.