Princesses and Peas

The Princess & The Pea
From Hans Christian Anderson

There was once a prince who wanted to marry a princess. A real princess. He searched the world for her. Though he met many beautiful girls who said they were princesses, he could tell they weren’t real princesses.

One night, a storm washed a girl to his doorstep. Soaked and bedraggled, she claimed to be a princess, but how could he know? The royal family prepared the princess’ bed: 20 featherbeds upon 20 mattresses. Under them all was a single pea.

The next morning they asked her how she slept. “Just terribly!” she cried. “There was something hard under my bed so I couldn’t get a moment’s rest.” 

She was a real fucking princess.

A Princess & A Pea

Her bed’s a tower of box springs
And mattresses upon mattresses.
Only the most agile can alight
And all are soon pushed out
Left to plummet to a cold stone floor.

But that’s not how the story started.
It all began with a Swiss accent
Twenty years ago
And a real man
Disguised as a little boy.
Two teenagers kindling a new kind of love
That would span
Years.
Mileage.
Marriage.
Stop.
There’s a bookmark in that fairytale.
She’s moved on.

She’s been making her collection
Of different kinds of attention.
Searching for a prince
In tinderboxes and bagel shops
Giving so-so cupids halfhearted shots

But there’s no match for her there.
No match can hold a candle
To her fast burning flame.
She’s all fire and desire
Consuming the minds
Of victims favored enough
To be caught.

And no matter how many bodies
Pile up over the years,
She can still feel
Something’s wrong.

Closing her eyes
Atop her tower of box springs
She feels it
Jutting into her back
Twenty years down:
A problem that is not yet solved.
A body that still needs to be burned.