Thou hast no hands to wipe away thy tears,
Nor tongue to tell me who hath martyred thee.
Titus Andronicus, III.i.107–108
I was passed from man to man. The crooked
alley gave shelter to my ravishers, and
they pried my legs open. Like moths trapped
in a glass globe, my hands struck their faces,
their backs. My fingernails filled
with softened pears the grocer threw out.
The silver chain around my neck broke
and lay there on the grimy bricks, evidence.
My hands now lie chopped up in the dumpster
and in the alley, my tongue is pecked by crows.
Red Morgan lives in Durham, NC, with her husband and their four cats.