by Molly Kat
He held her loose in his arms, like holding her was a chore. Like if he held her tight she might crack open and all the damage that came out in strangled gasps and sobs while she slept would ooze all over and infect him. She is damage. She is a word no one can pronounce. She is the gap between the A and the apple that start off every alphabet in every preschool classroom. She is nothing. She is silence. She is Lucy; a word with as much meaning as an un-translated apology in a language nobody speaks any longer. She has nine dimensions. Men always want to collapse her down into one. She is too big a word to be contained in the pocket of a man’s mouth. She is a metal slinky, summersaulting down the dirty stairs of a decaying apartment building in Binghamton, not far from Main Street. The sound of the spring whirring, the body tumbling over itself. She no longer cares which side is up. All that matters is that she stops before the last step. Before the door. Before the cold air and the expectation of a return. Before the beauty of her movement is collapsed into one. Stationary. Immobile. The accordion of sound and the blur of a body in motion, they want to hold her in their mouths, as a name, as a word, as a title. She wants to know what color her name is, what season she smells like, how old the palms of her hands are. She wants to be the end of the argument. Expose the terrorists in the White House, cut off her right breast so she can shoot a bow and arrow. She wants the sound of silence to be recognized for what it is. A battle cry. A plea for help. The sizzle of burning wood before the match goes out.
Molly Kat is a graduate student of Literature and Literary Theory at Binghamton University and has work published or forthcoming in Omega Magazine, Foothill Poetry Journal, Pedastal Magazine, Muzzle, Corvus, Toad the Journal, Samizdat, H_NGM_N, and many others. She is working on a manuscript called Lucy, a third person experimental prose poetry narrative about a young woman exploring the parameters of existence post-trauma.