She and I

I want to tell her not to be afraid
of what was
or will be.           The pandemonium
of turning one’s life into a              sequence.

There must be     a part
of this story that is               tangible.
I wrap it around myself
tightly, just as caduceus       clung
to his staff.

I feel the bones on my back, a scar on
my wrist. I rub my feet             together
and think I will pray.

But                    after
the blade hollows out a vein,
my thighs are forced     apart,
a mask disrobes my skin
praying has dived                   beneath me.

Black               out the lightning,
the cuts in our flesh        and suture
together a memory                       suspended.

On I-40 we                     turned
toward the yellow lines
moving                backward and thought:
They are going to make us believe in god.

No, she will think, I did                   not
burn her arm
I promise I did            not
pack a suitcase and wander
down Broadway                            at midnight.

And I will think      no,
I was not found in a fetal position.
I pretend I was     not raped.

Yes,                    I remember:
I did believe in god.

Reagan Barna grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
She is twenty three years old, and currently resides
in Manhattan. She can be contacted at:

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