Empty Prayer

Every morning is a fist,
is a baseball bat
disguised in the shape
of a tongue. I am told
this is the after effect
of rape, my body’s
broken language.
After dreams, a prayer
for boxing gloves,
for the cop that will
drive me away from
whorehouses, unlit
cigarettes, the strange
mouth threatening a
wildfire. Dead skin
repeats the narrative
of each unravelling,
how easy it was to make
my small girl body
into a wasteland.
Sometimes, as if
asking to be punished,
I retrace the scabs that
stalk the small of my back.
Whatever has not been
pushed into tables,
permanently anticipates
the hand against the throat.

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