A name he calls you, “all you’re good for,” takes
it half a dozen times then settles for
the rest. Your blacked-out, beaten boyfriend wakes
and waits. His punch, preschool purview, he bore
for years before he met you. Old enough
to exit long ago but doesn’t fight
him even, now, for you — the one that’s tough
yet tiny, tangled flame of hair, eyes light
up with hormones at work for two. A child
who may be made of monster, you can’t say.
A mouth so potent, words as sharp as wild,
soon to sway: “This asshole dies today.”
Two lips abused, insulted, never heard,
The mouth that kills a bully with a word.
He tells it to her over tea — oolong,
deep jade, in peony, bone porcelain,
teacup as wide as deep. His tone sing-song —
he lets it steep, his whispered plan of pain.
Soliloquy of trapdoors, whips — soft speech
that shakes thin fingertips. She listens, sips,
white pinafore. Hairs-raised, a fuzzy peach
in reach with chattered teeth, wet lips.
She swallows and digests it all. From red
suede wingback chair, a near-miss fall. A spill
defiles a sky blue dress. No words just dread,
one last acidic sip three letters reveal.
One word at bottom, tea all done.
in cursive, lavender, and it is “run.”
You found her feral, clawed and fanged, a pet
unleashed, a gamine gangbang. Starving, slick,
no strategy, psychedelic secret
anatomy, lewd lullaby you lick.
No collar and disheveled hair, a clutch
of limbs, can curl up anywhere. A bed
she barters, skin and bones — for milk and lunch,
meek mews and moans, legs perpetually spread.
Your reign redeems her — earns her name. Rope, rules
and rituals, a tiger’s tamed. A stray
you stroked midnight, alley, you claim and school.
Her heat, those streets roleplayed on your parquet.
Inside a woman, playful whiskered child,
a pet perfect you keep a little wild.
Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola and a sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked the pages of Occulum, Ghost City Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Murmur Journal, Fourth & Sycamore, Rise Up Review, Drunk Monkeys, and many other publications. Her poetry dollhouse chapbook Pink Plastic House will be published by Maverick Duck Press in early 2018. Follow her on Twitter: @lolaandjolie.