“Dangerous Blood IV” by Kate Gale

Kate Gale


It didn’t take even a drink to wet open her.
Untie her face so words stepped in.

Talc all over the floor of Grandmother’s kitchen.
It’s what her grandmother wore to bed.

Grandpa loved it. You mixed flour, salt,
baking powder, made biscuits.

Then tea. It was while they were hot,
buttery that the unlacing began.

Usually she preferred women
who would not bruise open her.

Men. Clumsy hands. Grunts. A face looming
over hers twisted into an indecent mask of pleasure.

The face heavy-lidded almost angry
with ecstasy. She wanted safe.

Her girls weren’t boot laced, all teeth and appendages,
leathered like the smart things in bars.

Hers were fresh open, limp legged.
Now she, astride this male had to answer

his groans with her own, bite back.
She tore along his belly like she never

dared to tear the fevered females in dark on satin.
Out loud she screamed. Certainly the curtains were open.

Perhaps they weren’t human any more.
Who knows if she ever was?

from Rattle #26, Winter 2006

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