The greatest story ever told is not about a venom-
nous apple or a royal secret shrouded in my-
stery. It does not depict a balcony or a tortoise or a hare or all
any of the witches. These were all written in vain.
It has nothing to do with a magic tree, or a snake’s
cunning plot. In the end, the only words that truly matter are
those of love. Love is why I stowed away on a pirate ship (arrr)
and sailed deep into the fog. It is why I sucked the venom
right out of you like an infection and allowed you, with teeth like snakes,
to tell me that the very tip-top one-hundred percent my-
self was not good enough, and believed it. Why I poured out my vein
s onto your stupid cherry wood floor, gave you everything, and all.
I fell asleep in alleyways and woke up underneath all
of the sweaty and unappealing monsters that were
uncontrollably vying for my meat like hounds. Van-
ity vanishing, diminishing, draining out like venom
from a crushed spider. Yes, crushed, but still full of mi-
ght. Hurt and ruined but eager and filled with a spite like snakes.
I learned somewhere amid the long boat ride back that snakes
don’t die with force or reason, sometimes they require all
the will you have and then some, I know mine are still leeching my
blood and probably always will be. These words are
each just another inch I can cut off his end, small drops of venom
I can remove, slow, sure, steadily from my vein-
s. And, miraculously, true love found me. I was sailing in vain,
it was always where I never saw it, not underneath rocks that hid snakes.
And maybe it took all of this, all of the journey and the heartache and the venom.
Perhaps the battle did not have to be lost or won, but all
I needed to do was fight, and keep fighting. There are
not, nor will there ever be, a day when I do not thank God for this enemy.
There isn’t anything else that my
prose hasn’t already said, no remaining metaphors for snakes
or pirate ships. And I suppose it might be vain
to continue with this envoi when all
I have inside me has ar-
‘ready been spilled. But that’s the only way to beat the venom.
To keep going.