It’s the women


They build sturdy houses


set too close together

Tactful queries like origami darts

traverse the narrow spaces


It’s the women

the older ones first

I bring them warm water

They look in their silk panties for one drop of blood. A sign?

I smell

only urine


My powder blue coat has stains from breakfast.

I remember when my sheets smelled like cheese

wrapped around my swollen breasts every time I dreamt

of my stolen child.


A mirror is still flat

even if

in it

I can see what is behind me.


I have left my face on the wall

no one can see my terror


It’s the women….the older ones first

I am young

I am nothing



It's the women