Rose Red and Snow White

by Kim Antieau

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Skin as white as Virgin snow.

Ice crystals grown from dust motes,

Specks of Earth thrown skyward:

Snow White
Lips as red as pricked blood, first blood,

Unfolding like the Virgin Rose,

Whole in and of herself:

Rose Red
Colors of the Goddess,

Clues this tale is more than it seems.

Aren’t they all?
When Le Bête knocks on their door

Mid-winter, matted ice and snow giving him

A Rasti look, the twin goddesses invite

The Wild in,

Serve him tea and comb his fur.

No sign of gold at first blush.

Then what? Did they watch Jack Frost

Breathe on their windows and listen to

Ice crack into wintry art?

Their version of cable.
Today, would they gulp beer, eat chips,

And watch television, the three of them?

Would Le Bête complain about the

Commercialization of all things sacred

As he clutched the remote?

“Let’s live off the grid,” he’d murmur

While Snow White and Rose Red painted

Their fingernails black as pitch and their lips

Red as a whore’s candied tongue.

Goth or harlot?
Or, perhaps before the Bear enters their domain

The sisters are hippie-girls, wandering, modern-like,

Looking for some thing. Hitching rides.

Living off the land. Eating huckleberries plucked

From their core, the juice staining their lips and teeth

Deep purple. Watching the bloody salmon leap,

They wonder why their mouths water, wonder

What it is they have lost.

Why does it ache so much?
So when a man in gold knocks on their door

Mid-winter, they pull him inside, shining him on.

Until they spot the fur beneath the gold.

Le Bête!

They speak in tongues as they

Rip the clothes from him.

He is only a symbol, after all.

The sisters bury their faces in his fur.

When they look down at their own bodies,

They see they have grown Grizzly claws.

They laugh and embrace each other.

The man, speechless, tries to piece his

Gold suit back together. Alone

In the empty cottage, he closes the door.

Outside, the night is wild with beasts.

 

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