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The Beastly, The Beautiful

I have a single memory of
my father’s face. I could tell it to you
for hours—the red-blue currents
of love and grief that swirled
in his vast violet eyes
as he lifted my tiny indigo body from
my mother’s crimson corpse, the
tender smile that briefly shattered the lines
on his skin, before I closed my eyelids
and never opened them again,
though the rest of me grew strong
and healthy as the years went by.

The townsfolk would crow at my story
if they heard it, or cross
the cobblestones from me
in some pretense of superstition, but
my father understands.
He knows that I can see
what others cannot,
that even with ordinary eyes
I would not have cared for appearance
when there is so much behind
the ribcage to explore:

the deadened brown of his merchant’s
cares, the dark gray of his wife’s memory,
the shock of vibrant roses he tends here
for his three daughters;
the pearly expanse of one sister’s
innocence and the sour yellow of the other’s
wounded heart, and the lovely silver
glimmering deep inside them both.
The rainbow mosaic of the passing
townspeople, their souls pulsing
in a hundred hues.

You were a tempest of autumn color
and a storm of fiery incandescence
when I met you, a sunset of a man
bold and bright enough to take
my breath away.
I knew of your monstrous teeth and
grotesque features, frightening for
any normal pair of eyes, but it
hardly mattered

when your wine-red spirit
burned, and danced like that.
Is it any wonder I could not bear
to leave your side, once
I had known you? Is it
any wonder I loved you?
My sisters call you handsome now,
but even they know nothing of
the brilliant flames you hold within.
I would not trade
the sight of them
for anything.

Other Princess Poems:
Snow White
The Little Mermaid
Sleeping Beauty
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