Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your partyand seduced youand left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.Love always wakes the dragon and suddenlyflames everywhere.I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.I’m not the princess either.Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallowglass, but that comes later.And the part where I push youflush against the wall and every part of your body rubs against the bricks,shut upI’m getting to it.For a while I thought I was the dragon.I guess I can tell you that now. And, for a while, I thought I wasthe princess,cotton candy pink, sitting there in my room, in the tower of the castle,young and beautiful and in love and waiting for you withconfidencebut the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess,while I’m out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire,and getting stabbed to death.Okay, so I’m the dragon. Big deal.
Full poem, published in Siken’s collection Crush, can be found at: The Poetry Foundation, “Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out”
I hope you enjoyed part of one of my all-time favorite poems. I am the dragon. Big deal.