Like It Is
Anna Teresa Slater
Everyone always told me what love would look like.
How love would sashay in through a hollow in the trees.
Everyone made fairy sighs, declaiming how candy-yellow butterflies
would swarm or hover above my chair before swooping in.
How it might bid me hello like a warm pixie’s shudder.
How I’d be under a spell, floating in sparkly air, how I’ll just know
when love is there and they were right but why is it that no one
ever told me how to make love stay when it pointed the other way?
How not to stumble on the steps after the midnight hour.
No one told me that love could bite. Love needs to bare it all, ogre and claw.
I don’t mean to go on like this but love needs to uncover its flaws.
Let me have tea with the brewing witches beneath the flowers,
so that when love arrives again, whether love slays a giant or reverts to frog,
I will be queen of my tower, a master of hearts, vulnerable but armed.