It was better in the ashes,
Lentils and all, it was easier than silk and lace,
Corsets and carriages.
Filthy water splashes back,
But it does not bite.
Nor does it expect a cinder girl to be a debutante in a day.
It doesn't scream about scuffs from glass slippers
Or pressure new princes into your belly.
A fireplace is no castle,
But who needs a castle,
That which retains its chill and echo in solitude and company alike?
Not that my company is comprised of companions.
Fanatics aren't friends.
I'd rather have chattering mice and birds.
Still, I pick pumpkin seeds out of my hair,
Teased and weaved and wrecked from one dance that never ends.
A cinder girl was murdered that midnight and no one noticed.
Not even I knew of my death until now,
Or my doom:
Privilege without privacy
And no permission to sit beside the fire.