resembles your mother, at least around the eyes --
treacherous, limpid and seal-like.
Inevitably handsome as a lioness, she
commands ranks, smokes cigarettes,
wears fur, has sex without apologizing.
Sometimes, she looks just like you,
but with crow's feet, more tattoos and better lingerie.

She conjures dragons or viruses,
she can lie easily to police or to you.
And you must love her, though she betrays you in a heartbeat -
you keep accepting the poisoned comb, the spinning wheel,
with open, pale hands.

In Snow White and Sleeping Beauty,
Disney covers up her hair in strange black hoods
afraid that if they don't
you won't distinguish her
from their watery, Barbie-eyed heroines.

Jeannine Hall Gailey
JEANNINE HALL GAILEY works as a freelance writer who publishes technical articles, cooking articles, and even the occasional strategy guide for video game magazines. She has a master's degree in English from the University of Cincinnati, where she got to work with some very inspiring professors. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Beloit Poetry Journal, canwehaveourballback, and The Seattle Review.