Raegen Pietrucha


Tell me—I can’t remember—
where did you first enter,
and tell me, how many other

times had you tracked me before?
When did you first slither
into me, before I could remember,

start bolting my cage, edge my talons sharper?
Did nothing register through the budding feathers,
tiny cries? How many other

times did circumstance order
you to play a role besides hunter?
You see, now I can remember your face elsewhere,

options beyond the unkindness you favored—
hooking fish, downing birds.
But I won’t burrow in murk like my mother;

I won’t keep your evil submerged.
You didn’t count on a deviation from the pattern.

So tell me what was never there for me to remember:
Were there others? No—how many others?


Raegen Pietrucha writes, edits, and consults creatively and professionally. Her chapbook, An Animal I Can’t Name, won the 2015 Two of Cups Press competition; her debut poetry collection, Head of a Gorgon, is forthcoming with Vegetarian Alcoholic Press in 2022; and she has a memoir in progress. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University, where she was an assistant editor for Mid-American Review. Her work has been published in Cimarron Review, Puerto del Sol, and other journals. Connect with her at raegenmp.wordpress.com and on Twitter @freeradicalrp.