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After the Rape

The stream made a merry little

sound as it washed her brain

and her britches. She dug deep

into her sack of surplus fears. It

was the last day.

She died by inches. A doctor

in that time was never thought

of--he was next to the under-

taker--and besides, who

had the money?

She was young. She had not been

interested in dying. But no one she

knew ever went anywhere except

to die. Nothing was supposed

to turn out right.

She lay there and drank deep like

a stone-age woman in evil

luck, addressing unfeeling gods

who had not protected her

from interested violence.

For her, life and death gurgled

the same. She died like a ripe

pomegranate with his supple hot

red seeds going pock pock pock

inside her.

By Kathryn Starbuck