(Day 13)

teach me to peel mango with my hands.
do you pull the skin from freshly pitted flesh
like you’d part a girl’s knees?
do you dig your fingers into the meat
like you’d make crescents in her cheeks
if she got too loud? do you squeeze
the fruit soft ’til splitting,
the way you tug and squish every soft part of her
until she, too, splits? you are left
with mush mangled in your palm.
do you know how to suck at the fibrous insides
pulling fruit from pit, girl from woman?
do you know where to leave the seed
when you have eaten everything else?


a road trippers response to the Stanford Rape case

The thing about the deer strewn across dashed white of the two lane highway is that you don’t really see it.

the deer with its head cocked at a snobbish angle as if to ask, “how do I look for two days dead?”

the deer with tire tracks through its thin neck, bits of entrail spread down the length of highway on display.

The deer with its tongue drooping out the left corner of its mouth to acknowledge the heat of the day, the deer with one eye rolled back and the other bulging, the deer with splintered hooves and a body that will never be whole again.

The deer who wasn’t born fearing cars, but had to be careful walking alone at night.

If only the deer had been more afraid, if only the deer hadn’t gone off on its own, if only the poor, poor dear had been more responsible.

The dear – with her knees parted and tongue drooping out the corner of her mouth, tucked behind a dumpster – is told she should be glad she is not strewn across the highway.

The dear with bits of her body open to air, spread down the length of lacking consent, mouth and finger tracks on her cocked neck. The dotted lines of a ripped zipper.

The poor, poor dear who wasn’t born fearing men, but should have learned to be more careful alone at night.


Piece #1: Girl

She hid it like a traveler hides cash.
The first piece tucked behind her molars
At 16 she hoped the dental surgeon
might mistake it for a little piece of wisdom
and cut it out, too.

Piece #2: Raped

She left one piece behind her right ear
just above the infinity symbol she got tattooed
drunk on her 21st birthday.
she didn’t like the symbolism sober.

Piece #3: By

One piece hung on the refrigerator in her apartment.
A drawing she did, age 5.
She held her parents hands, grinning
in a triangle dress
You can’t see bruises on stick-girl thighs.

Piece #4: Dad.


(This poem was inspired by an episode of House – inspiration comes in funny ways.)