In the hospital of sad princesses,
they walk with their feet
pointed outward, their washboard
stomachs.  They weave friendship
bracelets of violet and crimson lake,
bend their heads like swans
to half-empty cups of water in
which they never see themselves.
Not once.  Six glowing jeweled
seeds are clasped in every hand.
Nights, they picture an earth heaved
open, themselves on a pale throne,
judging souls. Their mothers must wander
the world, carting wheelbarrows of
pumpkins that have lost their stems,
whatever would connect them to this
wormy soil.  Their daughters know
what lives down there—what fire
can exist in the chill core of any
stone.  They only care for what lasts
while their mothers weep over fields
where winter has stripped every
leaf.  In the hospital of sad princesses,
they perform a pageant every day
for the miracle of ice, what strength
in a land where nothing will grow—
planetary florescence of sapphire, emerald,
the trees of underworld whose the
beautiful fruit would break anyone’s
teeth.  It is not so different from any
game of chicken—the car speeds towards
you, and you hold a pose, sing the
weeping willow, the singing head that floats,
the River Lethe, which murmurs on,
swallowing everything that has
ever been.  O dark mouth of the world,
here is where all mothers and daughters
must part.  How can the girls not despise
that the mothers will make a meal of
anything—even them?