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in the voice of Frankenstein’s Creature

Before I opened my eyes
I was a massacre for the dark:
I happened in secret,
I happened in pieces.
Before these hands were my hands
they belonged to other men
whose slick fingers cheated cards and pockets
but could not cheat death,
that sly angel whose halo
is a noose in disguise.
My soul, if I have one, is a stew
of the discarded—not my own,
but some chosen detritus boiling
in a poor man’s pot.
He is making something to fill
the empty stretch of hours between alms.
My soul is a girl wearing a patchwork dress
who confuses private and public prayers:
she is still learning the things we say alone to God
are not the things we chant aloud in church.
You can see in my sutures I am a
hundred different men in one;
Surely one of them must have been loved.

Maggie Damken is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied literature and writing. Her work has previously appeared in the Sarah Lawrence Review and Ghost Proposal. Her short plays have received readings in New York City.
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