we used to dance around rabbit holes,
dipping our toes into darkness and laughing
as tiny teeth tickled and pricked our skin,
but we never jumped in.
No, we were too smart for that
(at least that’s what our mothers said)
at least until the day you decided
the rabbit hole seemed brighter
than the future so you belly-slid down, face first,
pushing aside the roots that reached out to slow you,
with a Mad-Hatter laugh as you tumbled
into Wonderland, where I find you now.
Your hands are dusted white,
but there is no winter in this wonderland
so tell me, Alice—
Where did you get that snow?
Snow that burns your nose like ash
and carries you up a streak of lightning
to its pushpin peak where
red-clawed letters and black-toothed numbers can’t climb
to reach you.
You used to be a dancer, but the snow is slippery
and your feet forget how to balance.
Your scream is thunder as you fall, fall, fall
down that streak of lightning
into an Everclear lake filled with spark-eyed sirens
who whisper symphonies that sink sleep
deep into your veins.
Wake up, Alice! They’ll drown you!
I swim out to save you, but sirens circle me,
hissing and clawing my skin with 151 ice-hot fingernails,
pushing me back to the shore where I frantically call your name,
but oh, Alice,
you stuffed your ears with mushrooms.
As your hair melts into seaweed,
the white rabbit hops to my side,
checks his pocket watch, and says,