An Auction Block of Lovers

a poem by Edythe Rodriguez

I’m afraid I’ll be stupid

or brave, rescue my cape

from the closet Roxane Gay

told me to throw it in,

that I’ll do the right thing

for him.

I’m afraid they’ll ask me to do,

what I watched my mother do,

what she watched her mother do,

that when he says baby

he means maid or backbone.

I’m afraid he’ll measure

the thunder in my legs,

the levy that is my back,

I’m afraid he’ll ask me

to carry us and my lips’ll spit

the only answer they know,

that he’ll say jump

and I’ll shoot us to Ra.

I’m afraid of the contortionist

I become at his request;

the hinges in my gut folding

me into a bowed box at his feet,

that he will say

Bend / cry / bleed for me

and my spine’ll know the drill.

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