The 2River View 20.4 (Summer 2016)

Alex Greenberg


Christina Madrazo, a transexual immigrant, was placed in solitary confinement
in May 2000, where she was raped twice by a prison guard. Dissident Voice

there was a day you couldn’t stop swallowing
you were that empty

a little girl in your throat, trembling

            you wanted so badly to slip your thumb
in her mouth and let her suck on it,

her tongue like a virgin lake bathing a body
            for the first time.

all of the guards who looked at you
like a piece of food fingered from their teeth

coming back to memory.
no       he will not watch his mouth
when he enters your body

or remember your name.

he will spit on your welcome mat, make you forget
how soft breathing can be.

by the third year you didn’t have enough hands
to pray with so you stopped praying.

you gossiped about your own body to whoever
            would listen

            stood in the center of the cell, your mouth
opening and closing opening and closing.

you knew no other way to ask for help.

what else to do but shatter the vessel?
can you really call it sacrilege after all that has happened?

Alex Greenberg is a teenage poet whose work has been published or accepted for publication in The Cortland Review, The Florida Review, Puerto Del Sol, Salt Hill, and Third Coast. websitecontact

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