we took shots beneath the moonlight.
all quiet breathing, hushed voices
tugging on the stems of candles
and spreading wax – hot, melted –
across the tips of our fingers
until it was thin and hard.

he said i like the pain;
i said i like the expression
on your face – all strained.
he said you’re always stoic;
tell me, how does it feel?
and i said i feel nothing.

– unless you count apathy;
no, to be honest, it’s shame.
i can never get it smooth
and it always cracks.

The Girl, A Fish

i dreamed his smile, lips curled –
teeth edged like the coastline,
the rotted driftwood stain.

i know now what the beast looks for.
we broken girls, with homes that
gut us like fish.