I am so tired of the messes men make, without apology.
Messes in my kitchen, my body
bread crumbs and bottle caps,
on the insides of my thighs.
This careless way of owning,
for a moment, their rude appetites
thick as a swamp
and just as deadly.
I called my mother
two weeks after an alligator’s lust sent me to the hospital.
My guts infected, rotting, looking for their nearest exit
and she said, “That is his poison inside you.”
He is an oil spill on the ocean of my skin.
But he offers to bathe me better.
Tries on words like, “I’ll do anything.”
And what he means is not
“I’ll do anything for you,”
“I’ll do anything to you.”
my bloody hands
and this sink full of dirty dishes.
A fan of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and dark, rainy days, Ashley Loper started birthing poetry like gentle rabbits out of her body at a young age. Her poems draw inspiration from the natural world, the human condition, and all the equal measures of brutality and softness that exist in between. She received 2nd place in the statewide 2016 Oklahoma Scissortail Creative Writing Contest. More of her work can be found on Words Dance Publishing.