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After Donika Kelly

“You shall have no other gods before me.” - Exodus 20:3



She expects permission for 

a reprieve from life. Palm opened,


limp, like a mouth beat

from performing resuscitation.


She expects the rattling of crows,

the crowing of hens,

the rhythmic hush of the vacuum.


She wants the neon snow of propofol cooling her veins.

She wants the erosion of sands that stripe her middle.


She clocks the long of God’s deltoids

as he turns his back on her once again.


She asks a question only she can hear:

What will happen to me if I [                        ]?


The psychic answers with a question:

[              ] is here—would you like to [                    ]?


This time and once more her body will yield 

to the pressure, yield a person.


This time, 

though I’m safe,

she’s left raw and marbled.