Kate Bergen

They would have you beg them to explain
the rate for sudden suicide exchange
because, you know, the bloody street corners
don't tell their tales too well.
You've got to show them the scars,
Or razor or revolver or skyscraper ledge...
they know you've seen them all.
Leave two or three layers of skin behind
so they remember what it looks like to be bloody.
Not a pretty sight, for those aspiring to be beautiful.
Teach them about the chains that bind them,
how to use them as a rosary and pray to be set free,
how larks never sing, held in captive.
Teach them to be more adaptive.


The 2River View, 2_3 (Spring 1998)