The princess refuses to take Cinderella to the ball

by Samantha Maposa 

in the girls’ bathroom mirror
the sawdust of the rising winter sun
glitters on your brown topaz eyes.
realize, your palms are wanting,
thirsty chrysanthemums hungry for water.
we sing hymns of silence here
alone in this sacred dirty place dear
a place of both privacy and isolation
an island where you hide me in your back pocket.
I let you whisper stars into my ear
and my hips water your hands and cheer
serving every measure famished for my flesh.
your ingratiating smile searches for approval in my laughter
and we share kisses only gods whisper about.
when I melt as a snowflake does in Botswana
sizzling to nothingness from just your fingers
the taste of your caramel skin bubbles up inside me
and just like that…
you disappear
as apparitions do
as fathers do as government funds do and as I do when you tell me your friends are coming.
I clutch on to these memories just in case you call me up at night
I hang on to burning effigies of you and big fat maybe babys
hold them dear so it feels real enough to be real.

come baby come you say, come and kiss me in this bathroom stall. all I hear: kiss me here and only here. Love me with your eyes, stay here in my stall with me – Cinderella I can’t take you to the ball, it’s full of bigots who pray but I really do like you.

the princess always has justifications
and all through these phases,
as I wax and wane and flood the earth and ask for more you still ask us to contain love in a bathroom stall
you disappear
as apparitions do
as fathers do, as government funds do, and as I do when you tell me your friends are coming.