After the 911 call, the sirens, the knocked-in door. After the 2-for-1 autopsy, the souping-out of ballistic shards in layers of mother, curls of child. After the sewing up, the tissue samples, temporary storage in this antiseptic place.
After this near-final totem of mother-and-child.
the cool and empty morgue fills with an emanation of light, softly cupped voices, perfumed flurry, fairy godmothers. A little late she thought as they scooped and coddled the baby-little late she thought as they lifted her from the crook of each bent elbow, inexplicably washed and free of blood. Here child, they murmur, try on this, try on that. Blur of organza and tulle.
After the day she’s had she goes along with all the fuss. Come on, child, carriage is waiting!
And there they all are bippity, boppity, boop! Apartment lot for courtyard, uncajolable vermin with no intention of donning livery or pulling pumpkins. No signs of princes.
Unfazed she realizes that even here, in the weird, magic-less limbo yonder, even here the grownups believe in magical fairytales..
which still end up
doing no good for the real girls
Living then dying