Leah Welborn



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.                 

They ask:       

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.


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