All Good Girls Deserve
My Dear Miss Z-
I know you, dear. Have seen you
standing on your porch each evening,
backlit by starlight. I know the year
you thinned to bone. The way all good girls do.
I know the blade, the rhythm as it strips
and hones, how the body petals up
obedient beneath its weight.
I would like to hold your wrist
to flame, to see the blue veins lit
by the candle’s pulsing heart, the arterial thumping.
I would like to tell you
how he held me down, hold I said only
deeper. His name a sore
I can’t stop tonguing. You have said that I
should be ashamed, but I have words
for you. I was not raised for this. To be
the other. My mother taught the salad fork,
the polished silver, the body’s openings
named in a hush. That a good girl
crosses at the ankles. That a lady shows herself
by the foot’s high arch. I was a girl once,
too. I wanted the wound.