“His Hands” by Sin Ribbon

how I crawled beneath the under-eaves

I am unraveling, and I need to be sewn up
into grandma’s hand-embroidered farmhouse
evening, into the threads along the beaten
sulfur-stained couch, pilling open
its gaping hole leaking Playboy magazines


how I squeezed behind the armchair


our pets were dragged down the hall, their
nails snatched by rotting carpet, barking in
their last defiance against the hold
around their muzzles, their bodies rebuilt with wire
fur severed and stuffed with other women’s hair


how I tucked beneath the stairs


their narrow outlines line up, one, then two,
women that know how to open their mouths and
plead, their eyes like a deer staring blank-wild
ignorant of the force behind the barrel


three, then four


his hunger drags and squeezes them between bed sheets,
their breath abandoned and fetal against the
red marks denting their bodies, the wounds of
their choices a constellation of grief


five, then mother


“dad,” I call, hoping the wind seizes my tiny
voice before he hears, before his silhouette
bathes me in the dark of his heavy arms,
I close my eyes and pray for a lullaby louder
than their screaming


how I disappeared into the rafters of my bed
and there I was, there I was



Sin Ribbon is a storyteller weaving tales of encouragement and consequence through prose, paintings, and poetry. She is the author of the urban fantasy series, TEN, and creator of the award-winning podcast, In Her Burning: A Surreal Diary. Her work has found homes with Ruminate, Barrelhouse, Moonchild, Luna Luna, and other magazines. Her debut poetry collection, Dead Star Rituals, releases fall 2020. Find her on Instagram and Twitter or at https://sinribbon.com

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