Unpacking an unfinished poem was even harder than a finished one. Upon receiving Hsien Min’s scraps, I was initially very intimidated. I had no idea which direction he was intending to take his scrap. The ideas looked like beef stew without the beef, maggi mee without the mee . . . you get the idea. It wasn’t until I decided to stop trying to emulate Hsien Min that I managed to come up with something. Most of the words that stood out reminded me of a specific childhood tale. With this idea, I began to ask: how can we weave a new perspective into the Cinderella story? This poem, to me, is a small attempt.

 

 

                                                                                          ~ ~ ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

morality of cinderella setting up a mouse trap

 

I.

 

this sin, like syntax.
she, the housekeeper, poisoning
her helpers. when a rat dies,
it is to gluttony. not her fault.
she already warned them.

 

II.

 

a bacon burns in the pan.
the sizzlefat darted at her, as if
it was the bacon’s last will,
its final fatal arrow.
a rat snickers in the background.

 

III.

 

in the castle, she stopped laying down
the traps. her servants did it all for her.
the old pumpkin limos to a halt.
her rats are free. but there, another
colony bows their heads
to their new queen.

 

 

 

 

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