I broke branches for him
Snagged my cloak on thorns
Held the magic door open a moment too long
So he could enter
So he could follow
Did you hear something? I asked
In the copper wood
My sisters heard only music
Who’s there? I asked
Daring him show his face
To the silver moon
He stayed in shadow
When the dancing was done
The golden boughs dripped dew
Our slippers dripped blood
My tiny boat dragged
Heavy with the weight of him
I trailed my fingers in that cold water
Watched behind as he crossed my ripples
With silent eddies of his own
He married my older sister in the end
Men want what they always want
Even that poor soldier
Stepping on my gown
Spilling leaves in my cup
He looks just like an opossum, startled by headlights,
His pink nose and beady brown eyes
Crowned with reflective silvering hair.
You can imagine him heading out to a party,
Lips smacking as he wanders in search of a mate.
When an opossum plays possum,
When a teenager drinks too much beer,
His lips are drawn back, the teeth are bared,
Saliva forms around the mouth.
There’s a foul smell we won’t discuss.
His eyes close or half-close, involuntarily.
Once he passes out, the stiff form
Can be prodded and turned over, or even carried away.
The animal, or the college freshman,
Will typically regain consciousness
After a period of a few minutes up to four hours,
A process that begins with a slight
Twitching of the ears, and ends
With a Supreme Court nomination.