The Princess Escapes Her Myth

For every story there is one part told and another uncharted. So she tries to find the edges of her myth: past the lakes and the dragons, the princes and the mazes, the castles and the wolves with gentlemen’s hands. Their kindness bears a stench like burning — why does fire only lick, when everything is to its taste? Every hand she ever held had grazed her. Now there is just her and her heart in the forest, its hooves beating around her frame. A strange thing to have a body. If only there were a way to touch the world without this being, this being seen. She no longer wants to be looked at; even looking was a kind of robbery. Womanhood fell upon her like a cloak full of thorns. She had done all there was to do: She had been dutiful, she had been curious, she had been bad, she had been true. Once there was a princess eaten by tower eaten by teller. How well she fit on their tongues: Lovely, lonely, lost. She is running. Each territory crossed is a new word revealed, every river, every hill. If they find her now, she would go. She would surrender herself as a thing untameable. She would set their landscape alight, turn her back on the story. As if she were not afraid of whatever lay beyond. As if the darkness were a skin for her to pierce through, and flee into the open wound.