The body is a place of violence. Wolf teeth, amputated hands. Cover yourself with a cloak of leaves, a coat of a thousand furs, a paper dress. The dark forest has a code. The witch sometimes dispenses advice, sometimes eats you for dinner, sometimes turns your brother to stone.
You will become a canary in a castle, but you’ll learn plenty of songs. Little girl, watch out for old women and young men. If you don’t stay in your tower you’re bound for trouble. This too is code. Your body is the tower you long to escape,
And all the rotted fruit your babies. The bones in the forest your memories. The little birds bring you berries. The pebbles on the trail glow ghostly white.