*Not your average publishing company

On her knees

The doctor’s scalpel, quick as a hymn,
carved me clean.  He had his hands full
of supple girlishness until
my body tightened its grip and turned
me kneeling before this wall into a series
of sharp lines – a silver rune, sandy hieroglyph.
Someone could cut themselves
on the edges of my clavicle, my cutlass hips.
I offer up my naked neck, the uncovered
arches of my feet.  He sees a beggar’s knees
pushing into this bed, but I occupy this room
like an army.  My skin is not sacrifice.
My body is bare but as a blade.


Be a good bone-setter
and keep me
from getting away
with that.
How else to explain
these hands held
behind my back?
There is nothing
subtle about being
a supplicant, asking
to be taken.  Grazed
at least by your glance.
How could you miss
me, my medicine man?
Whatever cut is coming
it is you who will
issue it and, my God,
it will hurt.  I will hurt
for I am she, the girl,
your girl, the one
who will bleed.

Stephanie McConnell is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Paterson Literary Review, The Ponder Review, River Heron Review, the Under Review, The Dewdrop, and The Worcester Review.  She now lives in New England, but still only writes about Pennsylvania.

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