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 Review, The New Old Stock, Jenny Magazine, and Calliope.