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July 11, 2023

Still Life as Cinderella

Ask me about anything and I’ll tell you the truth

because a lie is nothing but a counterfeit hyacinth

softly caressing my fingers when I touch it

yet leaving no perfume to linger till tomorrow. 


If you’re reading this and pretty pretend-flowers

are fine for your garden, maybe find another poem

since I only deal in what’s real, what steals air

from my lungs, knocks me to scabby knees again, 


where I stay to pray for grace to untangle truth

for you, explain how I always feel it’s necessary

to charm, to humor, to enchant, to enthrall all 

but never save one single souvenir for my mantle.


Even the glass slipper slipped away while I tore

through chandeliers shaking their heads and people 

swearing they’d give anything to be in my silky gown,

selling the perfect prince a shiny new fantasy-in-blue.      


I mean, do you ever wish your carriage could just be a

pumpkin again, a nourishing globe chock full of seeds

that won’t drive you to magical, glamorous anywhere, 

just lock you in safely that first minute past midnight? 


by Dana Kinsey

Dana Kinsey is an actor and teacher published in Fledgling Rag, Drunk Monkeys, ONE ART, On the Seawall, Sledgehammer Lit, West Trestle Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Viewless Wings, The Champagne Room, Hive, SWWIM, Wild Roof Journal, Prometheus Dreaming, and Prose Online. Dana's play, WaterRise, was produced at the Gene Frankel Theatre. Her chapbook, Mixtape Venus, is published by I. Giraffe Press. Visit

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