tw: sexual assault, violence

The girl of your dreams finds
the god of death on the toilet

Men won’t admit they hate me
so easily. That, I must work for.
So I suspect, but never ask:

it spoils the fantasy. The feinting
violet of club lights. The glitter way
our eyelids shimmer, like angels’

skin. What’s your name? What
do you do? Wow—you must
be smart!
our siren’s dishonesties

a polyphonic jumble off the walls.
Must every girl who peddles her ass
be in college? Fine, then she’s in college.

Brown liquor has dutifully shaved its
shreds out of my stomach. The last
whiskey ginger my mother ever drank

cheese-graters down my throat
and burns in my gut. Coke, too,
to make things worse. Heroin,

but never enough. What’s your name?
What do you do? Wow—you
must be smart!
not every dissonance

clangs like dissonance. I promise
my father the men here can’t treat me
with violence. I do not tell him

about the man who screamed at me,
shake that cellulite! and his friends
all laughed cacophonous, and

we begged that they be
removed, and they were
not removed.

I boast about my strip club
earnings just before I cry

My job is ‘most beautiful thing in the room.’ He
hates me most after he rents my ass.

He crows me through nightclubs, restaurants, Mykonos
and he hates my ass. He buys me prime rib and wants me dead.

The oldest woman warns me: tell him nothing. She
would know, her lips pulled tight by the gray thread of age.

After a couple rounds of his heavy sarcophagus love, I
stop struggling. His mass isn’t dangerous until it is.

My real name spoken for the first time would uncurse the opaque
magics of my life, the one I love, the place I hide his money.

If he sees the blood in my sick, he doesn’t console me for it. I am
the dream, the prize for the rightest man with the best money.

I am the set-dressing of his life lived smartly. I know
there is no room for mash-vomit, vinegar-tears, hairy cunt.

I let him spend one uninsured medication refill’s worth
of money on lingerie he knows I’ll never wear again.

The never-wearing-again is the point. He says so
in his meaty sweat, the crackle in his lip, the paws on my neck,

the angry way he pig-squeals it, Lola, Lola, and like prey
I lie possum-dead, think, Rax, Rax.


About the author

Rax King is a dog-loving, hedgehog-mothering, beer-swilling, gay and disabled sumbitch who occasionally writes poetry. She authored the collection The People's Elbow: Thirty Recitatives on Rape and Wrestling (Ursus Americanus, 2018). Her work can also be found in Yes Poetry, Dream Pop, and Five:2:One.

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