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Tuesday, May 14, 2024


by Catherine Gonick

So he called you a toilet, you called him a turd
you could flush. You talked so fast
the court reporter couldn’t keep up.
You were made out to be rough, a body
made for rough treatment. Then you proved
a slut is a spy in the world of men,
a refugee who threads the mountain pass
through snow, barefoot. She wears 
the veil turned inside out
to expose its scarlet lining, floats
her soul upon the ceiling. She is smart
as the whip he asks her to use
on his sorry ass, his little-boy mouth.
She is his punisher, he her power.
They are connected by a belt of gold
in a tug-of-war, an umbilical cord
of blood smeared to dry on paper. 
And you weren’t meant to be funny
but couldn’t be stopped 
when he and the law were served
official notice of your humor.

Catherine Gonick has published poetry in journals including Live Encounters, Notre Dame Review, Forgeand Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and in anthologies including Support Ukraine, Grabbed, and  Rumors, Secrets & Lies: Poems About Pregnancy, Abortion and Choice. She works in a company that slows the rate of global warming through projects that repair and restore the climate.