You step
into the Zen Palace
like a princess
in snakeskin slippers,
and leave them on the rug
as is the practice,
but now
no one wants them,
not even
the stepsisters
who would prefer glass.

even the stepsisters know
you, shoeless,
as someone
who has slithered into their dreams
with the trellises of a princess,
the shoes, the sari,
the smile
of a genie
who dismantles dreams
with a poisoned prayer.


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