Nov 1, 2016

Near a Definition

Written by Ryann Stevenson

Read by Ben Purkert

I welcomed the woman.
I put a towel on my bed
and lay down. I told her
my burns were tender,
but what I meant was
I still haven’t decided
what my definition
of privacy is. I told her
I want to know more
about my legs,
but I meant to say
release them.
Please release them.
She held my kneecap
like a baby’s cheek.
She touched her cheek to mine,
the soft grindĀ of skin,
as when I once rubbed
two light bulbs together.
She pressed me hard
into the mattress
until I slipped inside,
both above and beneath
a sheet of ice.
When she asked me how I liked it
I said I’m tired of feeling
punished. When she asked me
what I wanted, she answered
my silence with silence.