Snow White Takes South Beach

Nancy Reddy
Sunny sky and palm trees.
Photo by Ryan McGuire

It’s not sin. No boy could love the ghosted
moon-pale skin I’m in, but I’ve got new flesh
under this. I strip to bra & slip
& let the noon sun touch me any way
it wants. It’s the better burn I’m after,
my shins & thighs shocked pink & slick as a hog 

roasting on a spit. I want hands on me.
I’ve been an out-of-favor princess 
long enough to learn that anyone’s will do. 
The sun-stroked skin blanches white beneath my palms,
heat-sick and spent. I’d be a fool to hope
my long-lost prince could see the beauty 

blooming beneath my rosy blistered skin.
That’s fine. I’ll make the world again myself.

Nancy Reddy is the author of Double Jinx (Milkweed Editions, 2015), a 2014 winner of the National Poetry Series. In fall 2015, she was awarded a grant by the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and her poems have recently appeared in Horsethief, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at Stockton University in southern New Jersey.