You tell yourself he only left you for her
because of the wicked shard of glass in his eye,
but the truth is, every man wants an ice princess.
The truth is, you're too easy to get used to —
your sloppy warmth, the heat from your skin
fresh from the garden — it's too much for him.
He'd rather marvel at her tedious snowflakes,
caress her frosted hair, bask in that cold gaze,
that veneer of symmetry. So you wander
around town like an idiot, forgetting
even your shoes. The boys there
are all still in awe of her. "Did you see
that thing she was driving?" they keep asking.
You set off to bring him back, not thinking
you are the last person he wants to see.
"He's trapped in that ice castle," you murmur,
"He needs to be rescued." Dogged, you follow
the tiny shards of glass, and their sparkle.
And when you finally find him, dark with cold
from her brutal kisses, he doesn't even
recognize you. You stop blaming the shard
in his eye; how can you rescue a man
whose heart, transfixed by skeletal crystal,
craves the bruising of frost?
About the Author: Jeannine Hall Gailey's poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, Rattle, Columbia Poetry Review, and other journals. She is the author of one collection, Becoming the Villainess, and one chapbook, Female Comic Book Superheroes. She lives in Seattle. For more information, visit the author's blog.
Copyright © 2006 by Jeannine Hall Gailey. The poem first appeared in Becoming the Villainess (Steel Toe Books, 2006). It may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.