Prayer for My Rapist
                                                                        —Frannie Lindsay

I hope he has learned
to slink unnoticed across the nights’
sad meadows, leaving the asters
alone in their clusters, evading
the blackberries’ thorns. So much
running: from pillow-slam,
scream-and-I’ll-kill-you, knife
in the sock, from bureau shoved
in front of bathroom door. From
seven streaked polaroids.

He has a silky scar
on the left just under one eye. He is
short, his hair is lush as a puppy’s.
Touching him saves my life.
Remembering him saves my life.
Crouch him in any dark, deprive him
of fingerprints. I will always be
wide awake although he is old,
a little less mad, cleaned up.
Something about the things

that a stare can’t freeze, the squalid
rattle deep in the ribs. It is only
a cough. It is only a trapped wolf’s fury.
It is the sum of his father’s father’s
despair, no more than that.
He has no shirt. He has no coat.
His shoes are torn. He is thirsty, his legs
are weak. He clatters and trips.
The soft grass offers him only
the might of her pity.

Frannie Lindsay

Frannie Lindsay's sixth book is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press. Her others are If Mercy (The Word Works 2016), Our Vanishing (Red Hen Press), Mayweed (The Word Works), Lamb (Perugia) and Where She Always Was (Utah State U. Press). Her many publications include Best American Poetry 2014. She received the 2008 Missouri Review Prize. She has held NEA and Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowships. She offers writing consultations and is a classical pianist.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2019