Varinia Rodriguez

The Princess Builds a Castle

The tarot reader says
“You need to be the princess”

I build a castle.

The hot dog man says
“Do not fall in love today.”

I build a moat.

You tell me
“You are stunning.”

I put barb wire around the tower
to see how far you climb.

When you reach me
I throw out my thighs
to distract you from all
the pain.

I pray against your hips
to ask me to slow down.

As you sleep,
I crawl out of bed to
ask the corner store clerk
“How to love again?”

He stares at me blankly
and hands me my cigarettes.

When you and I smoke them
I can’t brake my tongue
long enough for you
to catch your breath
to ask about my castle.

You left exhausted.
I’ve been exhausted.

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