Is It Surrender to Acknowledge

by Madeline Kelly
that the knife at [             ]’s throat
does nothing for my hands. My hands,
which might sometimes be weapons.
My hands, which might usually be mine.
[             ]’s name, which should only be
whispered like all the wolfbite things:
after the lights go out. I hold this new
body like a question. Like I don’t
carry this newness to keep the world
together, but to cut it up into softer
pieces. Like once, for my birth-
day, [             ] gave me a pocket-
knife, for protection. So he could
sleep knowing I’d come back
clean from the dark night-time
sidewalks to his bed in one piece.