By: Gaby Kill

My lover is strong for a reason.

I was teasing her neck and giggled when she flipped me

  “play fighting”

hit flat on my back, seeing stars in broad daylight on the lawn

of the private school she would get kicked out of.


and of all evils I can remember, it's the way she smiled

so vividly, nothing behind it but scaffolding

she smiles like she's clicking the not a robot button.

she smiles knowing what it will do to you,

 by choice,

 with good timing,

It’s the same way poisonous berries just look like berries to a child in nature.

 I vapidly grinned back.


My love has white teeth.

they leave stains,

sometimes I look in the mirror and I can still see the purple blotches

blackberry nightshade seeping under my skin,

so dirty. Rubbing acetone, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide streaming down my chest to dissolve the stains of sweaty palms

leaking out of my tear ducts, foaming from my throat, drying under my fingernails like blood

like her blood, I am digging into her skin, she won't let go

she has muscles she's trained them she's sent me pictures shirtless she won't let go

she saw this coming she saw herself cumming she won't let go

this doesn’t feel fun anymore.


get her hands off of me

I never asked to wrestle like this




My lover is too strong.

too detached, too calculating

I really should have seen this coming,

but sometimes self defense isn't natural

and I've realized the only way to escape is to go limp.

sink into my mind, pull down the curtains on my eyes

unplug my ears

take off my soiled skin and hang it to dry with the laundry


I am a weight,

 pulling these papery bedsheets down taught

a fly locked in a spider web


     as she whispers


calm down, sweetheart

 calm down

    you're beautiful.


My love –

  I feel weak.