19-22



The Unromantic Version of Kissing Sleeping Beauty

Frankly, she wasn't that healthy—
looking with her pale skin and crust
across closed eyelids, spittle
running down her cheek and neck,
and those nails so long and curled!
The room was stuffy too
with dust built up everywhere.
In fact, my asthma kicked in
with the air so bad, and I tripped along
Sleeping Beauty's rings of tress
that made trails across the floor
Her stomach growled too,
and while I stood there
she passed gas once, then twice.
But my girl had me mesmerized
as she snored away the hour...
before my one quick trip outside
to get my breathing back to normal.
I returned to her bedside with lungs better,
when I knelt down upon my sore knee,
ignored my dear Beauty's rancid breath,
dry skin, ripe body odor, and kissed her
gently on the lips—well,
really it was on the side of the mouth;
and I brushed her hair with my hand
down along her face.  She rubbed her eyes
and moved her head from side to side.
A moth flew out
from underneath her dated dress.
She smiled with yellow teeth
and we embraced.  With just one look
we knew we'd have a lot of work to do
on building a house, our relationship,
and with telling people what we were:
an ordinary peasant couple who dreamed big
with plans to shower three times a day
and always be on the lookout
for cobwebs, phobias we have to live with.

by Lynne Goldsmith

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Lynne Goldsmith can be found roaming the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains with a dog or two. Her upcoming book-length manuscript won the Halcyon Poetry Book Contest and will be published by Middle Creek Publishing.