Volume 30, Number 4


Imagine there is no tissue to wipe your dripping nose snot
streaming down skin raw like the burning delicate place
between your legs rubbing against filthy underwear soaked
in urine and dried again and again no mother or
father to hold you on their lap tickle you behind your ear
sing softly to soothe your racing heart fear rising
only monsters large and hairy speaking a language
you’ve never heard not knowing not knowing
each daybreak which monster each nightfall
how and where you will lay your small and pounding head

—Victress Hitchcock