Lovely Poison

By Jordan Mitchell

I have never known fairytales to be so manipulative, so devious in content and message they make me want to shield my child’s eyes for fear that she’ll buy into the glass slippered nonsense of a man’s perfect woman. Or that the mere touch of his stale lips to hers have the power to open her eyes so that she may see the world clearly as it both begins and ends with his presence, and her life stops and starts on his time. And that if her beauty isn’t enough to make

the birds sing and the mice dance and the fruit turn and the needle prick then she must be evil because what’s evil is ugly and what’s ugly is what’s not slippered. Therefore, what’s ugly must be you and me, what’s ugly must be what she looks in the mirror and sees because she doesn’t want to dance in a ball, and she doesn’t want her life to stall – she wants to go forward and be her own king and if fairytales don’t support her path, she’ll burn the world down and I, will laugh.

But isn’t that just a fantasy? What a lovely poison you are before thee. You mask yourself behind the veil of a story, in the heart of an apple, in the touch of a spindle, in the mirror of a queen; you’re like a sickness that eats away at the minds of their self-esteem. And you love that. What a lovely manipulative poison you are, you seep into their fantasy and can’t be seen from afar. Like a huntsman in the woods, you like your prey numb. Their minds don’t recognize your presence – you smirk and say, “well done.” What a lovely, manipulative, self-important poison you are. In general, so insignificant, yet to yourself you are… myth, magic, and ruler, judge, jury, and executioner. Your pride covers the land like a sheet of diamonds that cut our feet as we walk.

Because you just want your glass slipper, and, to you, that’s innocent enough. You chop us up here and shave us off there until finally, we are slippered. And we don’t have the right to be bitter. Because this glass slipper is coveted; this glass frame is fought over. We throw stones with pride and wonder why they cut us inside. So maybe, this slipper shouldn’t be glass, scarlet and crimson. We bleed through its mass. But the poison is so lovely, and the slipper so pretty. So, who cares if we bleed, will we ever prevail (we will never prevail)? Beauty over brains is the world’s fairy tale.

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