Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman

When I died, they put me under glass.
“Stasis,” they prayed, “changeless.
“Let her not spoil but be ever white,
pristine as the morning after snow.”

When I died, they hid me behind thorns.
“Dreaming,” they prayed, “entranced.”
“See how her lips have yet to bloom,
how her eyes move beneath those pale lids.”

“Stasis,” I agreed, and felt the spell
catch me, pin me, press me,
a flower between pages
a winged insect on a pin.

“Dreaming,” I believed, and felt the spell
caress the hair falling over my forehead –
blood on my fingertips,
a word on my lips.

Eyes watched me, dropping tears
that froze on contact, reinforcing the glass.
Teeth glinted with the indifferent brightness of stars,
but the words they bit were not for me.

The roses watched over me, dropping petals
that faded and died, spread over a forgotten wedding bed.
The steady breath of the sightless sleeping,
their minds dancing with springtime, cursing me.

The glass grew colder, iced, opaque
and so I turned inward to find
a winding path through cathedral trees,
the faint scent of a rose, and a voice.

The thorns grew steadily, trapping me,
and so I turned inward to find
a quiet clearing in a fragrant orchard,
my own reflection in a mirror.

Green briars rioted through her hair,
blood spangled her finger like garnets.
Her voice thrummed, silk springing from bobbins,
and she said I was warmer than snow.

Ravens danced through her hair,
the scent of apples was in the wind.
Her lips bled, poison seeping to her heart,
and she said I was more than a dream.

When the ice thawed, dripped
round me with the slow tedium
of a recalcitrant spring,
the prince found me.

When a hundred years has passed, slipped
by me with indifferent violence,
a rush of snowflakes in a storm,
the prince found me.

He shattered the glass, kissed me
into wakefulness, but he held
iron shoes in his fist and told me
that true brides never change.

He cut through the vines, kissed me
into wakefulness, but he held
me down on the bed and told me
that he liked me best when I was silent.

I left the prince of glass and iron,
turning outward to find
the long path, the ribbon of her voice,
that would lead me back to her.

I left the prince of nightmares and thorns
turning outward to find
the quiet clearing, the beckoning fragrance,
that would lead me back to her.

The only spells that catch us now
are those we cast.
We rarely sleep, preferring instead
to wake dreams, to make them sing.






Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman are PhD Candidates at the Ohio State University where they study folklore, fairy tales, and 19th century literature. Their work can be found or is forthcoming in Apex, Faerie Magazine, Goblin Fruit, Through the Gate, and others.