By Carol Matos
As if born into a pink species
she seeks hues of her favorite color—
a singular passion like a prospector panning
for gold in a cold river. She wears blushing
dresses and only removes her crown
before sleep. In the morning she pulls
my hand, rushing us to the bathroom,
holding up her layers of gown.
On the toilet she asks, pretend
you’re the wicked stepmother! I demand
she cleans the sooty fireplace and then go
to her room in the attic. She takes hold
of my chin, directing my face
towards her magic. No,
I will go to the ball and move into the castle.
Her daily searches are winks
that say, “I am”—a cloud of sparks
where she can almost bear seeing
her baby brother in her mother’s arms.
He pays tribute with joyous shrieks,
unlocking the world around us,
chants his want for more.