The Naked Emperor

is your favorite holiday—
pretending to be
someone you are not,
not knowing who you are
you try on different masks.

any Sleeping Beauty can tell you
the spinning wheel hurts,
the blood is real
and sometimes HIV positive;

everyone knows
the emperor
is naked.

Pamela L. Laskin edited “The Heroic Young Woman,” a collection of original fairy tales, published by Clique Calm Books. To purchase, visit