I wager most every woman or girl
has had to lie down sometime when she didn’t want to
and it was
just my time. He said “you got pretty titties little baby”
and he winked, licked his withered old man lips.
I had just turned eight and a tiny
baseball bat beat against the inside
of my cage, a steady tattoo of fear and self-loathing.
Decades later my ribs are chattering like children.
are we playing fetch, or dead?
And later when they ask about the blur
(as if my flesh could bring me back together), I tell them simply
It was magical. It was a small round bruise on our sins.
I run my fingernails across the smooth bones, pack them away
in folds of fat for safe-keeping
alongside their bejeweled sternum, natty as an ascot,
and tie the whole package
with pink silk ribbon.