Freaks’ Frieda


I was not knit together in a bulldog’s womb,
but circusroyalborn—my crownhead parents? Ponies.
Loved their tiny otherwiseness.
Simply stopped.

Thus she looks down on me
in more ways than one—
my rival, Cleopatra—
raven-named but Harlowhair’d, like me.  In fact

I’ve often wondered if we
paradise, as sisters do,
selfsame facemaking serpents
in the edens of our bones
(both white as oyster babyteeth and underpillow wishes

every snake save one, that is
:that thyroid asp that grasps the garden’s Tree of Big and Small.

I crane my neck and see myself reflected in her eyes—
a princess staring, weeping,
out those twin dank castle casements;

long to ladderlet my hair to Hans,
who’s always at her feet.

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