Under the surface of this winter lake,
I can still hear him say you're on thin ice
now, my heel grabbed, dragged into the opaque
murk of moments--woman raped on a bus;
girl plunged into oblivion, taken
on a tour of coaches' homes, local bars,
backseats of cars, the sour godforsaken
expression on each classmate's face; the dark,
the common route home, faint footfalls behind.
How many times have I bloodied my fist
against this frozen expanse to remind
myself there is another side, hope-kissed,
full of breath? I howl. The water begs, drown,
its hand pressing tight, muffling every sound.
Added: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 / Used with permission.
Jennifer Perrine is the author of three books of poetry: No Confession, No Mass (University of Nebraska Press, 2015); In the Human Zoo (University of Utah Press, 2011); and The Body Is No Machine (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2007). Perrine’s poetry and fiction appears in Pleiades, Crazyhorse, Salt Hill, Literal Latte, and Cream City Review, as well as in Broadsided Press’ special folio, “Bearing Arms: Responding to Guns in American Culture.” Honors include the 2017 K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Award, the 2016 Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Award, and the 2015 Bisexual Book Award for Poetry. For more information, visit Jennifer's website.