I wake to a knife
on the back of my neck,
a man's voice low
in my ear. What I am told to do,
I do. Still
the moon lights my room.
The freight of his chest
fixes me to the rough, wood floor.
His breath
brags down my throat
into my lungs, and I pray
for my soul.
I make of my body a bunker:
when he enters,
he does not touch me.
I am clean as rain.

Copyright © 2000 by Sondra Upham. Reprinted from Freight with the permission of the poet and of Slapering Hol Press--A project of The Hudson Valley Writers' Center. All rights reserved.