hurt…–Kathleen Hellen

I circled like a dog, 
flattening the grass to lie down in the shit.

There was Trent, 
who wrote in raw the fragile hours at the canyon. Then 

Cash like Ajax carrying the dead:: I remember everythingtwo months’ pregnant when

he stopped by the apartment…knew you weren’t in. He said he knew your shift, knew
the surf of your addictions, splintered with asbestos from the shipyard where you temped

(who said trust your instincts?):: See pig in blood scrawled on the wall. See Tarantino. 
Putting two and two together 

I fled down Golden Avenue to Moonray’s on West Broadway. Hid among the oranges 
imported from the county…my head a noise of tortured provocation. This cult of mutilation. 
This body death by men. If I could start again…

I’d quit this coast of bones. Of shattered-glass guitar and sado-gristle. I’d open up 
a tampon shop. Close the lid of this piano. Nail it!

Kathleen Hellen’s credits include two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento, and her award-winning collection Umberto’s Night. Her work has appeared in Ascent, Barrow Street, The Carolina Quarterly, Colorado Review, Four Way Review, Grist, jubilat,New American Writing, New Letters, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol,The Rumpus, Sewanee Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Subtropics, The Sycamore Review, Verse Daily, and West Branch, among others. Hellen’s latest collection is The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin.