On the Limitations of Photographic Evidence in Fairyland

Put down your camera.

The light here will not bend
to your command, nor dance with silver shoes
through mercury mist. It is no tame tiger,
and you are not its type.

Instead, you must court it
with subtlety and care, and it may deign
to accumulate for you in crystal glasses
as dew accumulates among the grasses:
Drink it down, intoxicating, deep.

Yes. Like that.

Now watch — it will perform for you,
watch it fill the fountains, watch them
fling it ever skyward, acrobatic, watch it glisten
on high-wires, sparkling, leaping from the towers

bursting into bright shards, rainbow-sharp

Don’t flinch, porcupine. Stand still. Just let
the shrapnel pierce your lens. Instead of eyes,
a thousand glittering wounds henceforth to see
nothing less than glory and ephemera.

What human sight compares? No, you must stay.
Stay, dear guest. Be ours forever.


Anyway, no one back home would believe you,
not with Photoshop and everything.

[Nicole J. LeBoeuf writes weird short fiction and poetry, some of which has appeared in Departure Mirror Quarterly, Apex Magazine, Cast of Wonders, and The Future Fire. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she skates for Boulder County Roller Derby under the name “Fleur de Beast”. Find her online at nicolejleboeuf.com.]