by Liz Clift
Perhaps this time Alice when eats the magic mushrooms,
maybe more tentatively than the last,
the White Rabbit sits her down to explain no one
will stop her because her skin is the color of cream or snow or bone,
because she’s blonde with big blue eyes and so is no one’s suspect,
and even if she is, it’s okay, because she’s just a child,
just experimenting, and besides, she doesn’t know.
Her trespasses will be forgiven.
And in Alice’s other world, Eric says the police
are afraid to police because their guns and clubs and tasers
are no match for phones. Someone might
see them choke a man to death and then another,
slam a girl to the floor for not paying attention in class,
shoot an unarmed boy on the street, on a swing, in the back.
The list goes on. The police don’t seem afraid.
Who would blame sweet Alice if she decides to stay
in a world of Cheshire cats and games of living chess?
Where she can start an organic oyster farm and keep
the Walrus and the Carpenter in good supply,
because perhaps they’re not so bad after all.
She’ll brew tinctures and dry herbs and drink tea
with Humpty Dumpty and try to lead
a simple life among the wicked and the strange,
who she’ll find are neither quite so wicked
nor so strange nor so different from those
on the other side of the looking glass.