A little girl starved for stimulation stole
my heart–her desperation promised
possibilities. From her eyes, her ethnicity,
I relapsed into nostalgia I never could
resist. Perhaps, I thought, she could love
me. I poked, I prodded for a pulse that beat
for me, but snagged a seam and tore
a hole. Her silence convicted me of murder,
but, no blood poured from her wound;
her stepfather had already bled her dry.

I offered her a torrent of tears to compensate
for my transgressions, flames on my face served
me penance, but she neither flinched nor fled
from my offer–her glare skull-fucked me senseless.
The serpent’s gaze hardened my bleeding
heart until it broke apart, so I ripped her open,
plowed for sustenance, reparations, vindication–
the depths I reached were limitless, but
no stab was deep enough to make her bleed.
Her stepfather must have had dibs there too.

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