Her Rusted Voice, Her Nails

the broth of her mouth
drenched everyone
as she tended them like babies
cradled in a gutter, lending men
the pit of her ear as if
they spoke frequencies
deeper than wells

her life knew how
to walk red, dark circles in guts,
her hands knew how
to grow a fire with only sticks and breath
and hold the echoes of a man’s war
in her diaphragm

from them, she learned to know
freckles as parasites,
to be jester-like
in each small parody of war,
become a trophy of silence,

forget she could be god.

she poured another drink
down the hole
and felt herself buzz
like those bees, those men dying
silent and shocked
in the background

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