once upon a time

once upon a time
a girl was built inside a factory
situated on the edge of a cliff
overlooking the sea
she was made from the finest materials
by a man who cared very much
but knew almost nothing about being a little girl
so he made her ears too big
her face a bit too funny
and her body more like a boy’s than a girl’s should be
but he built her with infinite worlds
fastened them to her insides so that she would always have
a galaxy full of spinning globes
to run away to and play in
and he promised her that
whenever she found herself lost in this world
that she had instant access
to a funhouse
a hall of mirrors
a merry-go-round that never stops spinning
the way infinite worlds spin inside
infinite worlds
like a self-fulfilling prophecy
where spring blossoms inside of spring
and the horses never stop running


when we were very young—
i was a monster
and you were a monster
and together we picked flowers
and we didn’t know that monsters
weren’t allowed in the gardens

when we first became monsters
we celebrated with balloons
but now i wonder if the balloons
were begging to be let go of
and if maybe they found a better home
in the sky than in our hands

and after a while
once we’d gotten used to being monsters
we folded paper into birds and named each one
after all the reasons why we weren’t monsters
but then all the reasons why we were

christmas lights

after a while
trying no longer feels
like the new black
so you fade off
into a distance whose color
you won’t recognize
until you get there
and along the way
you play a guessing game
where you place the cool side
of blue rain
yellow sun
and red poppies
to the flat of your palm
and then you press that
to your heart
and you wait until
lights up inside you
like christmas lights