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Arlene Ang
Thieves | Rapunzel


I remember the subtle thieving
of folders every time
I switched off the lights.
When I reported the petty crime
I was vaguely reassured to hear
that lightning never strikes
the same tree twice.
I wondered
if it was an oak
or a young poplar,
and if robbers nest on branches.

Later I discovered that
one lightning was enough
to make charcoal of a tree.
Instead of folders and
Beware-of-Mice wallpaper,
there was only grey space.
The thieves were kind enough
to leave a note signed with
a lighted-bomb Restart.

I knelt for days
over burnt terrain.
It was difficult to begin again
without even cinders
of an address book
or internet passwords
to sift through.
On this dead stump
I dropped to my knees as the woman
who watched her house looted
thinking it was someone else's.


The twelfth prince climbed the tower
on golden tresses he knew were hers.

When he penetrated her window,
she turned away to light the fire.

His eyes blinded by hair that mirrored
the leap of flames she stoked,

the prince failed to see the woodpile
of chewed bones at the corner of the hearth.

When she faced him, her eyes gleamed yellow
on skin frizzled like burning lard.

Simpering, she dug her claws
into his chest before he could escape.

The last seconds of his vision held her cupping
his heart while it throbbed in her hands.

Her bloated tongue poxed with canker sores
licked hungrily before eating away the last beats.

Poet's Biography:
Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy as a freelance translator, volunteer web designer, reluctant housewife, part-time poet and occasional writer. She is the Italian editor of Niederngasse. Her work has appeared in journals such as Sidereality, Scrivener's Pen, Pierian Springs, Sometimes City, Absinthe Literary Review (2002 Eros & Thanatos Prize Winner), Clean Sheets (2003 Poetry Contest 2nd Place Winner), LiNQ (Aus), Dandelion (Can), The Yalobusha Review, Niederngasse, Porcupine Magazine, The Melic Review, Conspire, Savoy Magazine, Stirring, Perihelion, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, Black Bear Review, Zuzu's Petals Quarterly Online, Rattle and Oyster Boy Review.

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