by Madalena Henning
I can’t tell you I wasn’t raped
when violence is so close to universal.
Even this gesture is addictive,
daylight more restless than alive.
Touch where stitch marks bleed,
where the earth leans
and is mammalian again.
Hands and eyeholes—
if you don’t eat me,
I’ll eat myself.
Temper: white on white,
obliteration thereof.
All roads lead to the sentence I cannot write.
Promise I’m strong enough to break—
arson and agony.
I’ve cried tears more stable
than your hands. Challenge me
over survival. Nothing
the birds ate killed them, but they died.
Be a witness. Arrest me.