The Archaeologist's Statement

Yes, I did it.
I found Grendel,

stitched him back together,
revived him
with transfusions of blood,
sperm and electricity

and set him free
to hunt again
under a dark moon.

And soon,
yes soon,
you will feel
the piercing grip of his talons
the ripping of his fangs.

You should thank me.
I did it for you.
J E Stanley
Susan Slaviero
What Rapunzel said:

There is only myself to blame (skull & mane); I
have lived in this petrified forest so long I've fossilized
my own hands. They freeze like butter in December,
but still I think: mine. Once, a woman not my mother
said she bought me with a clump of parsnips, wanting
a bit of blood from my wrist, a lock of my hair for
unmentionable purposes. I have only myself to blame,
this pretty head of mine, filled with teeth. My mouth
opens, but nothing. Comes out. If she kissed me,
my gums would bleed. One day, we are making soup
of wild leeks and sorrel, drinking emerald spirits from
depression glass. Absinthe, she says. It is sweet/bitter
like that chopped staircase, that pile of stones under the trap-

Later, I detect a howling outside, not quite wolflike,
but almost. A strange beast waits under my window,
bearded like a goat. I am braiding my hair with those
stiff, stiff hands. She holding a teacup, cracks it
like a starling's egg. A raw onion rolls across
the floor, bleeding. Suddenly, I am sawing at my
own head, so close to the scalp it pinkens. He is
still out there. No I tell him,