by s. morgenstern; chapter one

he picked her up and settled her in the saddle
and they rode away on four white horses:
past the castle walls and up and out,
onto a hill in the setting sun:
kissing, laughing,
loving.
that’s bullshit, I thought.
bullshit
that doesn’t happen.
even in my six or seven years of life,
messy hair, messy shorts,
my innocence, my Kool-aid covered mouth,
even then I knew.
even while my best friend was sighing and singing,
‘can’t you just wait, sister? can’t you just die?’,
even then I knew.
there aren’t horses in real life,
not pretty white ones,
stamping hooves, shaking manes,
no horses to ride off majestic.
there aren’t castles to be rescued from,
evil princes driving away true loves.
there are pirates and giants,
pits of despair,
but true love doesn’t walk up and slap you on the back,
pull you into its arms,
sing you to sleep.
not in the Midwest.
you can find a cutie for a one-night fuck.
you can get married with your white picket fence.
you can have the dog and the little kids…
you can be comfortable in your life.
but the divorce rate is climbing
and the violence is growing
and sometimes it’s best just to hide.
so I hid.
and I hid.
for months and years at a time
up in the castle of my mind.
until I met you
with your white horse and your dark black mask.
and you smiled at me and told me to hope
hope for it
for you
for the evil princes and the castles and the hills,
feel that strange connection, that desire to just
be
just be
just be with me
and now I’m waiting for the sunset that’s never going to come
and that summer home in the fire swamp.
and despite the evil princes who keep rearing their ugly heads —
some uglier than others, I’ll willingly admit —
I still think there’s a Spaniard with a father to avenge
and,
sooner or later,
he’s going to pull you back to my prison
my false marriage to a false love,
my despair.
you’ll come find me in my bed chamber,
and pull the knife from my breast.
and we’ll hop on your horse and off we’ll go,
just like my best friend told me so.
and when we finally get to our hilltop,
when we’re finally alone,
the kiss we’ll have will never end.
and maybe then I’ll know.

4 April 2007

© Charlie Pevensie

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