When It Snows

O Dearest Queen,
I’ve had it with the kvetching.
I am the sun, the scent of curry,
saturating your mold
and mushroom forest.  I am
the sultry cinnamon
on the tongue.  What do
you desire?  What would you dare?

If you think I’d eat an apple
dipped in cyanide
or let my heart congeal
in a velvet box—guess again.
Instead I soothed
the hunter with lavender
and honey, something to
tame the tummy, a tincture
of tasty lies.

Mirror, mirror, I am
flawless as silken sugar
with lips of death
in bright nasturtium.

It was just a small role—
cold on the slab, carved
like butter.  And when he kissed
me, when he thought
he might reverse the curse,
I made him beautiful forever,
covered and cured in soft sea salt.

Jen Rouse


Jen Rouse’s poems have appeared in Poetry, The Inflectionist Review, Midwestern Gothic, the CDC Poetry Project, Sinister Wisdom, Anit-Heroin Chic, Crab Fat Magazine, Up the Staircase, and elsewhere. She was named a finalist for the Mississippi Review2018 Prize Issue and was the winner of the 2017 Gulf Stream Summer Contest Issue. Rouse’s chapbook, Acid and Tender, was published in 2016 by Headmistress Press. Find her at jen-rouse.com and on Twitter @jrouse.

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