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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 (@shelleyisms on Twitter) is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and a librarian-in-training, whose work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Daily Science Fiction, Cease Cows, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Rising Phoenix Review, Ghost Proposal, and others.
Current Issue
21 Nov 2022

As far back as I could remember, Oma warned me about the bats. She said they would eat me if they found me exposed at night. But I knew the green light of the moon would protect me, even when I was still smaller than Oma.
The truth is: / she does not have to bend into a ceramic plate to carry us beautifully, & my father / isn't the hand that will break her.
the rattle of the rails, the shuffling-muttering of hundreds of passengers nestled in the one long limb of you
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