Genesis by Lake Vargas

The word they use is one harsh syllable first,
one relent second. My writing teacher says —

where is the camera? Where is the camera and
where is the speaker? Well, I think the camera is

hovering over my body. I see myself cast in glass,
blinking away the glare. I part my lips, my eyes

still wide. Light glistens in my curls, settling in each
like a hammock. Come on, take a vacation on me.

The shag carpet scrapes my back. Cut to tile,
his body a shadow graying mine. The birds

dart south for the winter. Or an unseeable
chain is tugging them there. Rope. I can’t

make myself say VICTIM. You punched a hole
in the wall and I would’ve built a dollhouse

in there, leveled out the plaster for the floor.
Stuffed a battery-powered light in there. Taped it,

so the void shines from the inside out. I know
I cannot lead the gold leash of my tongue.

Men always crouch above me, but they don’t
breathe. My breathing lands fists to their lungs,
rubs their arteries between my fingertips, tugs
the tissue paper away. Darling and angel. I heave.

My sweet baby girl. At the light, I look up. It’s not
about the force or pain: it’s about the fact that you

did it. It’s more about the fact that you wanted to.

Lake Vargas writes poetry, fiction, and memoirs. Her work has been published by Vagabond City Lit Journal, Sea Foam Mag, and Empty Mirror, among others. She tweets at @lakewrites. More of her work can be found on her Tumblr, @stonemattress.

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