said the sea-witch

by Kirsty Logan

then your tail will part and open into what men call pretty legs
the legs must be kept open. the mouth must be kept shut. the tongue is stolen.
but grace is enough. beauty is enough, and legs for dancing. legs for opening.

every step you take will be as if you were treading on a sharp knife
as is the breaking and binding of feet into a lotus gait. as is the
humbling sway of stilettos.
who even needs feet? trim your toes, your heels.
your man is strong enough to carry you.

you would think that your blood must gush out
but it won't; not for you the thrust of him, the turn of the moon, the
softened heads of babies.
no need to tie up your hair or grow your fingernails.
only this knife, and his blood on your feet.
you will have never known such soothing.

from the ship and into the sea
this is your ending.
your prince long gone and your blood curdled and your tongue in a jar
and you think it is worth it.
to be snow-white. to be hood-red.

Kirsty Logan won her first literary contest at the age of eight, and has been going mostly downhill ever since. She is currently a writer, editor, teacher, waitress, and general layabout. Her short fiction and poetry are upcoming in PANK, Polluto, Popshot, and some other places that don't begin with P. She has a website, and lives in Glasgow with her girlfriend.

She says, "my favourite fruit is the physalis because most people use them solely for decorations on cakes, which is a shame as they're delicious."

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