The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer

He was nothing more than a puppet. A marionette, strings pulled by the merciless hands of his years. But what a puppet he was! Oh, how elegantly his false arms and legs and body swept across the stage. Meanwhile, in the audience, a lady. She was anything but a puppet. Beyond undeniably breathtaking beauty, behind the scenes…another world.

The puppet stared at her with unseeing eyes, oblivious to everything that took place behind her fair skin and her dark hair. What a puppet he was, filled with desire as his part commanded.

Eric’s pace quickened to catch up with his prey – not prey? – on her slender legs. The skin of her wrist was warm and soft, and as creamy as it looked. His hand were soft, as well. A prince, he was. A prince did not callus his skin.

Desire, sang the puppeteer, desire.

“Do pardon me, ma’am, for intruding on your life. (But I should someday like for you to be my wife) But I’ve been halted by your allure.”

Aurora’s eyes flashed at the sudden approach, but her high cheekbones contradicted her. His eye were soft and brown, and as material as the gown she wore. Behind the scenes, a cart tipped. Wheat, good wheat, was strewn about the dirty lane of Tractus. A peasant parallel of Aurora turned and stared. That was the first time.


Later, all eyes are turned to them at the table. Eric’s mother, the queen, had demanded to see the thief who stole her son’s heart, – not heart? – and the queen always got what she wanted. A rumor had wormed its way into the queen’s mind. Aurora’s mother, at the passing of her beloved, had found herself with the blessing (Read: Curse) of wealth in a kingdom that crumbled as they ate.

“I know it’s rude, my dear, but I’m the queen, you see, and I just happened to hear a word. (Your family’s well-off. How absurd.) You have money, I see. Let’s discuss.”

In a cottage behind her eyes, a young boy writhed. His body was so painfully deprived. What a shame. The previous (Molasses) week, his father had dropped a cart of wheat.

The boy didn’t bother to close his eyes when he fell asleep. Aurora frowned from the street.

“Marry him! You’ll see what joy it brings you. (For the time until your fortune is consumed.) We welcome you to our family, Aurora. Forever.”
Aurora fought a tear for the boy on Tractus Lane, and fed hungry a woman an absent nod. That was the second time.

Then again, at the wedding, she left this world. She attended a funeral. Her white dress was gone. She did not long for it as she drowned in a sea of black. She watched a box lowered into the ground. When she turned her gaze to the sky, and saw nothing but earth. To her left: a box of mistakes, and to her right, an empty box. Her wrists burned as the puppeteer tied the strings.


The Almighty Crash and Tumble

Your smile, submissive, is evergreen

or so I thought

An evergreen can’t stay green when they

Chop down the tree

Your smile, your eyes, your skin

The entire ensemble

Brought down

The almighty crash and tumble

Your smile, shy, is fading

And the words die on my lips

An inky spill cascading

To kiss your fingertips

Your smile, gone, is painful

Your eyes and skin have parted

It’s not your fault you left me



File Room

Here lies a folder
Standard in appearance
But it weighs like a boulder
And the inside isn’t coherent

It’s written in code
I catch some words–snow?
You could read it, it appears
Were you here

You aren’t here, you haven’t been
Not for a while
And now I have seen
The folder’s one of a pile
A collection, a hoard
Written down on a board
At the back of this room of unshakeable gloom
It’s addressed to you
That’s your name, I know
It’s one of the few
Those few seem to glow

They stand out from the crowd, with deliberate makes
Whoever held the chalk pressed hard, letters dark
It’s unfortunate, I guess
To stand out from the rest
At least to me, in this room, it seems
I can tell that your folder weighs more than the others
The cover’s not pressed, it’s cracked, wrinkled, weathered
But perhaps I was wrong when I judged good or bad
When I touch these pages, I cannot be sad, or mad, feel bad
They’re soft, fine, expensive, the paper is warm
It’s warm though it’s worn, and folded, and torn

I see now what’s in this folder
This not-standard folder
That weighs like a boulder

I think I’ll stay in this room for a while
I feel that there’s more to read in the pile.


Eyes like the skies
Like moonlit pools, so bright they can blind
Her skin is like her hair
Soft, pale, and fair
Her beauty and rare, and she knows it
They know she knows
He knows she knows
And when he knows she knows, he won’t let her get close
“Why don’t they like me?”
That she can’t see

A hand taps her shoulder, she looks about
There’s a shadow of a figure in the corner of her bedroom
“My name’s Doubt, who are you?”
She introduces herself with the trace of a grin
But later, there’s a prickling under her skin
She gets up to look, and rubs at the mirror
Shouldn’t the picture be a bit clearer?
Maybe she hasn’t seen her face for too long
It looks wrong
Something’s wrong
She turns away from the mirror with the trace of a grimace
No matter how hard she tries
Squints at her image
She sees no moonlit pools, no skies
Her skin is too pale, her hair is too shiny
Her mouth is too big, her nose is too tiny
She sits on her bed and thinks for a while
Tries to remember the feel of a smile
Doubt must know, with that grin on her face
That kind when you taste a familiar taste
That kind of laugh when someone else falls
It’s gleeful, and pleased, and a tiny bit cruel

So she sits and she thinks
And she thinks
And she thinks
There are words on her tongue, she’s on the brink
She never speaks, though
She never said
Doubt deals the next blow
She can’t lift her head
Her chin is weighed down
By the heavy frown

…but what’s that glimmer?
A gemstone?
It’s a crown
A queen’s crown
Atop her head
It’s crafted from words that a stranger said

Doubt’s smile disappears
The grin falls down from the tips of her ears
A pile on the floor
Doubt fought with words, and lost the war
Dusty and fine
She steps on that pile time after time.