Poet to Poet

I am the body that terrifies.

Imagine my fists, my hair,

the way every door becomes

a wildfire. Sex is the ache that

knows no language. Between

cigarette puffs, my bedroom

reconstructs the narrative

of my unraveling. There are

lithium prescriptions, burnt

shoes, discharge papers from

a mental hospital. I do not

remember when the world

began to turn inwards.

Maybe when my bra strap

unhooked–every inch

of my big and vulnerable

body made tangible by

the places I was groped.

Even now, there is the vague

impulse to give him the middle

finger. I do not know who else

he has played with–how

many women he touched,

whether his dick smelled like

loneliness when he orgasmed.

After an assault, every hug

feels like a threat. Your male

friends are indistinguishable

from frat boys, from teachers,

from the strange beasts in

dark alleys who threaten

my rape with their fists.

I am sorry there is no space

between a hug and a blood

red scab on my ass. But

I cannot invite the possibility

of human kindness without

wanting to undo every single

fragment that represents the

wreck of my life. This includes

suicide attempts. This includes

threatening my boyfriend with

a knife in the throat. On the

off chance I ever become

the brutes in my poems, please

do not come to my court hearing.

I am not interested in nice men.

I only want to flirt with boys

who grow into human filth.

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