seven disney princesses fall headlong into a new tale by Timi Sanni (Lucent Dreaming Issue 9)

here, a big-footed cinderella wears leather
sandals in place of glass slippers, sword-
in-hand, she walks into the arena to fight
a tournament —this ball begets only the
dance of blades. our lovely rapunzel hides
daggers in her golden bob cut. she sold
her long, long hair for a chance at revenge.
elsa, princess of frost & perpetual snow
rides a camel to the sahara / on a cold quest
for summer. splendid ariel sits on a rock
telling the mermaids’ tale, unworried
that she can no longer carry a tune. snow
, our good lady of the dwarfs / travels
to kenya & returns as ebony. mirror, mirror
on the wall, who is the darkest of them all?

a wide-eyed aurora, insomniac beauty
seeks the quietude of oblivion, but only
elven kisses carry magic as deep as sleep. &
belle, curious belle, is taming the beast
who is herself. how wrong we were when
we thought oh! i know this tale so well
because here, there’s no villain, no starry-
eyed witch, no knight in shining armour
as an 11th-hour messiah, just princesses,
clad in steel, or fiery desires, fighting
their demons, one strike & then another
& then another. no such thing as happily-
ever-after in this place of blood and sweat.

Timi Sanni is a Nigerian writer and editor. An NF2W scholar in poetry and fiction, his work appears or is forthcoming in Palette Poetry, Olongo Africa, Down River Road, Drinking Gourd Magazine, X-R-A-Y Literary, Cypress Press, The Temz Review, and elsewhere. He won the SprinNG Poetry Contest and Fitrah Review Short Story Prize in 2020. He is a reader for CRAFT Literary and Liminal Transit Review and an editor at Kalopsia Literary.
@timisanni | @timixsanni
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Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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