I feel safest behind the cold stone;
There is comfort in thick doors and empty halls.
Please don’t rescue me,
I’ve only been locked away
from hungry gazes
and glinting mirrors.
The Queen can leave me here,
Free from rotting atop her throne.
I’ve had enough of the steel at my back
Scraping down each vertebra bone
Spine shivering, jaw clenched,
as I anticipate the blow.
In this cage, my body isn’t withering.
Here I can linger in all the rooms,
and dig my toes into the carpeted floors.
The whispers of slithering
Down the winding corridors
Aren’t as daunting as those
Of golden heels on marble
Stalking towards my bedroom door.
Tails don’t lash out unexpectedly,
Pinning me to walls, trapping me.
The dragon doesn’t force me
To lick the venom from an unhinged jaw
Gather it in the back of my throat
Burning until I’m forced to spit it back out.
How do you never spot
The fangs stretching her smile?
They always give her a slight lisp;
Her eyes aren’t yellow from the firelight.
Your too busy looking for the monster,
That I’ve already found.
Abbey Elizabeth Murphy is an English and Sociology double-major at Drake University, is the Treasurer of the campus English fraternity Sigma Tau Delta, and is the incoming president of the Grant Writing Corps. Published in three other literature magazines, she realized that submitting her most recent work to AGORA would be a new and exciting opportunity. She enjoys writing poetry and short stories and reading science fiction novels and comics in her free time. After having spent a semester abroad, she realized her love of traveling and studying new languages, and much of her recent work focuses on the experiences she had with other cultures.