joan of arc

if you look into her eyes long enough

the room can blur and disappear

she can become you for a while

and say what you know but can’t hear

since the day you were born

you’ve known all of the stories by heart

pearl tea, cat-scratch blind sight

reincarnate joan of arc

and then there were darker stories

some that you wrote yourself

but maybe no one has ever asked

how the gypsy queen herself felt.

so now you try to leave

your whole childhood behind

but the ghost stories are just that

and they’ll haunt you your whole life

maybe she’s just an old woman

you’re now much taller than

who asks you just to sit with her

and give her your hand.

but then all you can remember

is “fear” and “guilt” and “scream” and “cry”

then you are eight years old again

shutting down inside.