A Mean Bone

In my body, there are many bones.
If it were not so, I tell you, I would
not have done what I did:

I lived with the witch so long
in her candy house, I learned well
how to be wicked. Wicked enough

to wield the bone I poked
through the prison’s grill to feign
I was still too thin for her to eat.

The witch is wily, but blind.
Thank her for her lessons,
then shove her in and shut the oven door.

Never trust the gingerbread,
the sugared treat. Never trust a friend
who claims to have no mean bone.

That bone aches when the weather
turns, it complains, it demands
relief. My dear, this syrup

will rot your teeth, will take from you
your bite, what in you is crisp and sharp –
the grit and clench and shake,

the yen to seize your prey
and break its neck. Regard it
as a mercy, this mouth of teeth,

these small mean bones. Offer them
their proper due of meat for feed,
not sweets

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