truth bomb

listen I grew up
in a suburb

where each street was named
for a fairy tale

in the land of dark forests and
grimm siblings

and in my mother tongue
which brought you

rapunzel and rumpelstiltskin
no story ends

in a twee happily
ever after

it’s all much more conditional and ominous
our endings don’t mention happiness

instead our folk tales sign off this way:
and if they managed not to die

they’re still knocking about
somewhere to this day



Laura Theis‘ debut ‘how to extricate yourself’ was the winner of the Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize, an Oxford Poetry Library Book of the Month, and nominated for an Elgin Award. Her work appears in POETRY (forthcoming), Mslexia, Rattle, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Aesthetica etc. Find her on her website.