Elaine Equi

Gingerbread House

It was not exactly a house,
more a large room at the end of a path
dotted with cupcakes and birds
where she lived with someone
like a brother you could sleep with
because that’s what the story called for.

There was also a witch, at least
the rumor of one, who rarely visited
because she was busy doing
witches’ work in the larger forest.
The witch did not have to do much
to keep them in the gingerbread guesthouse.
They were free to leave at any time,
but chose not to – preferring to bake
and take care of the cat.

Every day the girl was grateful to her father
for having abandoned her.

Titles Only

Be, Hear, Now
The Earth Is a Drum We Walk On
Our Lady of Opaque
Neither Fiction, Nor Fact
Winsome, Lose Some
The Pep Police
Haiku Handcuffs
A Leopard Doesn’t Change Its Stripes

Elaine Equi received a BA and MA from Columbia College. She is the author of ten collections of poetry including Voice-Over (Coffee House Press, 1998,) chosen by Thom Gunn for the 1999 San Francisco State Poetry Award; Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2007), shortlisted for the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize; and most recently, The Intangibles (Coffee House Press, 2019). Editor of the 2023 Best of American Poetry anthology, she lives in New York City with her husband, fellow poet Jerome Sala.