Ritual of Rape

by Ahja Fox

CC0 Public Domain


I find a female deer pelvis
swathed in grapevines, tendrils
weaving in and out of two
eye-like sockets, dressing the ossein
in traditional costume.

A crown to the fawn who’s speckled back will
lose vibrancy and curvature before I
reach acceptance.
Puckered cheeks and gravity-stricken nail beds—
cracks to the surface of living.

The bone mirrors its owner’s face, something fans
from the top. I want to pull needles through
the telephone hooks
of its sides.
I want to stitch it to my jaw, walk falsely
among the demons that roam trees, listening
for the still heartbeat.

Snap the bridge
where the sacrum would have trailed
when the curious buck approached her.

Tuck the finger one points out guilt with
and the finger one screams fuck with
under the pinched DNA, right in the ridge
of the pubic arch.

Release the bone dust.
A history of getting pressed
into a bow-legged stance
because the spine cannot face what is behind.

I question if demons mark their chest
with the dust of the earth and remember
that all wear their victims (trachea noosed tight).



Ahja Fox resides in Aurora, Colorado with her artist husband with whom she creates multimedia pieces. She describes her love for words as ‘suicide by writing and reading’. You can find her work published or forthcoming in Rigorous, The Perch, Progenitor, Taxicab Magazine, and more.Stay up-to-date on her reading/performance schedule and publications by following her on Instagram and Twitter at aefoxx.

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