Date of Birth: 4/15/70 Location: Connecticut Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Publications: Mediphors, The Orange Willow Review, Free Zone Quarterly, Mentress Moon, Prose Ax, Poetic Space, Owen Wister Review, Comrades, Turtleneck, etc. Chapbook: The Tactile Sense
At five, I thought that she at fourteen, could protect me
from the glint of the gun in my father's thick fingers.
The shimmer on the cold, black, barrel
like a splinter in my eye,
I crept up the stairs into her pale green room,
asked to slip into her queen sized bed,
and under her forest green comforter.
I could sleep on the floor she said.
Without pillow or blanket
I slept on the nylon carpet.
Six months later, my sister escaped,
on the promise of a thumb and her long, straight, brown hair.
My sister wrote her own dialogue.
In families like ours the healthiest person leaves
my mother says today to defend my sister.
I want to remind my mother that at five there is nowhere to go,
but my mouth
(full of coppery blood from biting my tongue)
is sewn tight with a gleam of steel and nylon thread--
the seams about to bust.