205.348.7264 mfj@sa.ua.edu

Adulteration of a Girl, Aged 10

Madison King



she lay there
after the weight had gone
the emergency glass tucked in her chest shattered by
the swelling of the tumor by
the onslaught the explosion of the stake and
she became machine
before she could peel herself away
from the cotton mire
metal cogs and hands of clocks
she was wound up and let go and
she ticked
before her feet hit the ground
she tried to get her body back
small shaky hands covered in toothpaste
tried to make flesh and muscle out of
bits of crayon wrapper and chewing gum but
it all fell away and
hovered around her ankles as manacles
she would have cried but
her vocal cords were Play-Doh and
she was stripped down to
knobby knees on the edge of a precipice
dirty bare feet dangling off the side

Small doe with white blemishes on its back
Drags its bloody body underneath the trees
Shallow gasps hang white and solid like bricks in the air
Death reaches out from dirt to attach itself to ankles
The final frantic battle always ends in sleep
Eyes half break the surface of the water
Keeping hold of the line between two worlds
The line that isn’t a line, merely an exhalation of breath

her clocks will keep on so she will keep on
strands of gray hair she will
pass them off as a defect of the beginning
freckles on the nose will divide and will
war with each other and will
sacrifice themselves for their brothers so that
another release of another arrow will
never find another mark