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A 21st Century Slave to Her Master

"For i have but the power to kill,/ Without--the power to die--" ~Emily Dickinson



You need me. I know you.


That’s my kick. That I see

all of you above me

as a hairline

of grease.


Stop breathing

so hard. You get to

buy. You get to fade

into the townhouse

I imagine. I just kill

your need

and pretend it’s a kick


I need. I remember,

as you rape me,

all that time I spent


want ads for exotics.

Like those were jobs,

like that’d be power. For me.


I remember you

say, Thanks…

like I was real. Like you

don’t stink. Like the tatted devil

on the stair,

“john,” you paid


to master me. Like your death.

Yeah. Your

death—that’s the shit.

Not some kick. Not my rinky-dink


you over and over. The shit


is you handling me.

Like you would

a Colt, a Glock.

You aiming the sheen thing at

your temple.

And getting off

a clean shot.



((Originally published in The Philadelphia Review of Books))




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If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone. 

~Thomas Hardy