I call myself a frigid bitch. I call myself bottled-up. I can survive for 200 years without an exposé because I tell myself I’ve reclaimed sex for the gentle. I am not gentle algae sweeping the bottom of a body of water, a body who loves her softness, I am not gentle branches trimmed with a bandsaw, I do not go gently through the rocks. In the canyon there are two rocks leaning against each other in their sorrow, and I claim their tightness as mine so when I force myself through the tunnel I break to pieces too. Why are we broken even before we are bought. The flesh of a steer in distress has a distinct dark color, have you tried it? The delicacy of a body in fear. The tenseness of anticipation, of seeing the blade or the gun before it appears because that weapon has been there before. It takes many forms. It is flesh buckling without consent and it makes you bleed dark water, it makes you taste foul.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

KINA VIOLA is a poet and book designer living in Ithaca, NY. Her work has appeared in “Best of the Net,” Witch Craft Magazine, Jellyfish, The Fanzine, and GlitterMOB, among others. She is a chapbook editor at Big Lucks Books, and co-runs handmade chapbook micro-press Garden-Door Press.