April, Rumpelstiltskin, And Me by David Spicer

Black-haired April named her golden
retriever Rumpelstiltskin but didn’t
know why: perhaps his cornflower eyes
dazzled her like sapphires, but I
think she liked to taunt college
classmates and diminish their
sense of worth. I guess I’ll never
know because she possessed
a radiance that illuminated
above the throng that sickened her.
I glared at April the day we met,
said You’re no healer, I bet you’re
allergic to crayfish, my favorite food.
You’re probably from the swamp.
Our relationship decayed after that
but Rumpelstiltskin accepted and loved
me. April learned a little from her
dog, and our bond grew an inch.
She threatened me with a desert prison
if I didn’t steal the blueprints
for the hiccup factory or at least paint
a river of buckwheat waving to a town
of laughing babies, but I forgave her.
Instead, I’ll invent a new fence that eats
wind and glides toward new borders, I said.
Alright, that’s an acceptable goal.
I don’t like trials anyway. Rumpelstiltskin
barked approval, April smiled, and I
escaped on my bicycle into the Badlands.

David Spicer

David Spicer has had poems accepted by or published in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Reed Magazine, Circle Show, Slim Volume, Yellow Mama, Jersey Devil Press, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., The Kitchen Poet, and elsewhere. He is the author of one full-length collection and four chapbooks, is the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, and lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

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