the white witch’s heart, spelling out eternity

the white witch’s heart

Image courtesy of Jo Jakeman

there is plaster peeling
off from her pale skin, dusty
circles where she used to be
touched. her spine is crumbling, frail
yet rock hard, and each day she wonders
how that is so.
when she speaks, all they ever
hear is a deadly anthem for the restless
dead, and shirk from her ghostly touch.
come back, she wants to say, but they
are already too far away to
she tries to dance to the music of
the moon and stars, but it is
hard to listen to the lonely’s tune.
they see the empty cavity of her
chest and think there was none to
begin with, but what they do not know is
that his hand
is a fist where her heart
used to be.

spelling out eternity

Image courtesy of LensAlive (

everyone asks me what my favorite
book is, my favorite movie, my favorite
food pastime hobby restaurant.
no one really asks me what my
favorite fairy tale is, but i tell
them anyway. the snow queen, i say.
why’s that, they ask, bored, uninterested.
i shrug my shoulders and say it is a
pretty little tale.
but in truth
it’s because whenever i think about how
the snow queen swept innocent
kay to her palace and told him to piece
broken ice together to form the word
in exchange for his freedom,
i am reminded of the shivering touch
of your fingers deciphering the
message of my ribs, your nails
digging deep into my skin and pulling it apart.
you don’t say anything, but
i see the hope flare in your eyes when you
crack open my ribs
the quiet disappointment afterwards when
you see the dead rosebuds and
scattered letters. the truth is, darling,
it was a whole lot easier to
shut the windows against the sun and
leave the roses there to die and pretend
i was still yours.

Shirley Kuo is currently a tenth-grader residing in California, and has always aspired to be a poet and author. She delights in rare mockingbird sightings in her backyard and reading bountiful stacks of books as a pastime.

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