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Three Poems by Arika Elizenberry

by Arika Elizenberry


Maybe I was 8

or maybe 9.

My memory is

fuzzy like the buzzing

TV in my aunt's bedroom.

Rememory shows

my chest rising

and falling,

his mouth on my belly,

his dark figure

burying my voice

between the springs.





Ice Chips

you say

you didn't

catch his name

or remember

why your girls

left you at the hotel

bar alone

but you remember

funny tastin'

ice chips

and wakin' up

in a room

with your dress



body hot

they say you

lied when you

couldn't meet

with them

that mornin'

that's 'cause

your body

hadn't forgotten

last night's



Not Your Mistress, Not Your Seductress

she was never your seductress

swishing her hips up

and down the halls vying

for your wayward eyes

and stray hands as she

filled the rooms with fresh

linens and sheets

was never your mistress

bent over in the cellar

scanning your favorite

brandy wet waiting

panting in nothing

but a corset

was never your jezebel

when you forced her 13

year old body to sleep

in the bed with you

lest she favored stripes

was never your lover

when you rewarded her

with a hog and new dress

for Christmas after selling

her - your blood soaked

baby on the block

for the tenth time

was never your seductress

mistress concubine paramour

lover whore harlot coquette jezebel

your bedwench

you were her master abuser

killer manipulator tormentor

violator trafficker captor offender

her rapist

she was your victim

but not your only one


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