Beauty & the Beast
It all happened pretty much the way you heard it.
Faster than I can even remember
There was a kiss in the rain then music and a change.
Then he was a king
and I was a queen in the space of minutes a ruler of a land filled with adoring people
milk and honey streams and all of that part is true.
It was just after that I had trouble with.
My golden husband of a king and the sun shining like butter
sometimes the serenity would be so omnipresent it would feel like razors slipped under my skin
and I would have to catch something.
A bird, a small cat.
My king would find their tiny cold bodies all over the room and say nothing
for a while that was enough
but after the silence would be sandpaper on my skin
spikes driven into my skull
I’d ride out to the countryside just to make something to scream
a deer, a pig, once a small boy.
It’s getting worse
He sees the blood on my riding gloves and says nothing.
Once I left a skinned cat in the sun so the smell filled our chambers just to see if he would notice he just had it taken away.
He ignores me when he doesn’t know what to do with me
this king he is now.
Like I never once watched him hunt in the dark.
I set a small fire in the kitchen just to watch it burn and I think about how things used to be
when he would bring me trophies of rabbits ripped open
his flanks dripping blood
and how much I loved him in the moonlight my monster.
I told him that I figured it out now
one night while we sat in silence as he ignored the gristle under my nails
I said I know what the curse was
and he looked at me
with those eyes the one thing on him that stayed the same
the curse wasn’t for you it’s mine.
I never learned the beauty inside him
His kind heart or noble spirit
I just loved how answered the dark thing in me.
When he comes to me at night now I just pick figths
I push him
And he storms out, the bigger man
When all I want is for him to hit me
He locks me away sometimes
the villagers call me the mad queen
since that time I caught a courtyard dog
a mangy thing
lifted it to my mouth
and bit firmly into its side
just to see if I could
if I could be the one to have teeth now that his are gone.
It’s my misfortune of a curse
what woman would love a man with fangs unless she wanted the risk of getting her throat ripped out
but it isn’t my fault
he’s the one who changed.
Who left me the gaping needing question his jaws and bloodlust once answered
and so I’m leaving.
I know he’ll follow, this king.
With his knights and retainers and
he’ll curse me and call me a liar
but I wasn’t.
I always meant it.
When I met him in the yard and after the hunt
Him still reeking of new decay
when I was covered with the claw marks and bleeding of his desire
I still do
love him, my beast.
I just have nothing left for this king.