I was locked in the linen closet, lost
In ruffles of gingham tatters and my sky
Bleached hair. I wore the
Paper crown. I wore the flimsy red
Tiara. I let them
Pin them wings on me.
The palace, I say, is burning.
And snipers masked in mandarin felt masks.
In my room, I can hear them
Breaking off of daddy’s ancient CB:
One day she’ll be a looker.
Someday, a knockout.
But all I see when I look in the mirror
Is a bright blue sky filling with F16s.
Listen to Cynthia Cruz’s reading of “Strange Gospels” below…