Kayti Lahsaiezadeh "Mercy"
for Natalie, wherever she is
I want to hold hands and hear you beg,
like that game we played in school. Wear
my role ‘til it’s worn thin—wicked step-
mom or the neighborhood hellcat—bend
your baby fat ‘til it breaks at the wrists.
I want to kiss you and complete the circle,
tongue that blunt, brass-knuckled innocence.
You’re the stump I want to split—I’m honing
a hatchet just for you, honeybear, tucking the right
bullets into my overalls—I don’t even own a gun.
Cavity, aren’t you the sweetest when you’re full?
You’re the switchblade at the rumble, the Holy
Ghost in my communion wine. Keep this in mind,
next time you’re out burgling: pain is a dangerous
game to play. Come here, sit down and tell me all
about it. What kill have you dragged home today?