Red Riding Hood by Sarah Sorenson
Roots catch the toes:
mean roots; dead roots;
roots rooted by roots before;
dredged and drudged up on
paths of paths.
Witch-fingered limbs, bending to
bustle at the itch and crook of
my spit-spun plaits,
and dry-iced grin.
I talk to strangers.
I see only good
in every stain-toothed beckoning.
It’s a calling; a vow.
Purity so pure that it’s sin.
Decked out in red
and doused in gasoline.
An all-consuming fire;
fur drenched in lamp light.
Matted, tufted, and crazed with rabies:
I see cleanly nubbed, freshwater pearls
through the snarled, snapping yellow;
the foaming glance of those lips on mine,
tasting the meaty mince of my skin,
divining the muck:
Only the best in you;
only the slither-footed, torn-clawed
smatter of paws and pads,
The hot rush of voodoo air,
the swarthy brine of fairy tales,
the crone who warns against the warnings,
the heeds that will not be heeded,
the inelegant splatter of fate against claws,
how the bread is broken:
Cleanly, and without ceremony,
and all the better to feel you with.