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there are nights when she retreats.
sinks into bedtime tales of
knights in shining armor
wielding shields to guide her out of
never-ending stories.

princess locked in a tower of tears,
rehearsing scenes on the backsides of eyelids
squeezed tight to distort the image
of an all too familiar suitor.
she has memorized
mechanical movements,
assumes the position
of an empty fortress
taken over by a beast
sweating whiskey and lust
onto the contours
of her innocence.

tiny princess
set adrift amidst a tangled sea of sheets;
she weeps
silent tears offered up to hidden angels,
praying for wings to carry her
out through bedroom windows
into the darkened streets
and far away from nightmares far worse
than the invisible boogie man
in the closet.

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