Hands On

by Amanda Stovicek

Having her hands on the attacker’s face

it became impossible to hurt


the supple bending of skin baby-soft

or lamb’s ear cotton in her palms.


Not to tear or maim but to feel the pulse

underneath his body’s covering. Not to run


even as the attacker tore safety away like a river

tearing its bank. Her body as that crumbling,


finally noticing the river, closer than before.

The attacker wanting to drown in the river


to become a prism for her body. Always the river

was a part of her body, grabbing more dirt and flesh.


She rubbed it from the corners of her mouth

and held no shape. The attacker grew gills and swam away.


By morning she transformed into a small deer

who anyone could put their hands on.

Amanda Stovicek is a writer and teaching artist from Northeast Ohio.  She works to bring poetry to various public audiences, including local hospitals, schools, and detention centers.  She is the co-founder and editor of Voices of Dan Street, an online journal that showcases the work of students at the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center. Amanda is finishing her MFA in Poetry in the NEOMFA Program. Her work has appeared in Rubbertop ReviewThe New Old StockJenny Magazine, and Calliope.



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