Kami Westhoff

Girls of Gore

We float dead-man on the lake's curdled skin with fish-belly faces. 
Our mouths are full moons, irises eclipsed by black hole pupils. 

We are barefoot and forest-bound, hair a tantrum of twigs and leaves.
We run, we trip, we fall, we belly up, resist the knife with only a scream. 

We dangle from rafters, wait for the chainsaw's snarl. We are bisected, 
brothed, buried. Our skulls become the bowls he will drink us from. 

We go to bed, or step into the shower, or put a pizza into a preheated oven.  
We don't slap away our boyfriend's hands when they slip under our skirts. 

We babysit in apple-bottom shorts, our tits taut, nipples aching for the suck. 
We have younger brothers, slightly less attractive friends, dogs named Toby. 

We are born from a nightmare on Halloween, Friday the 13th, senior prom.
We are rarely shot, audiences prefer the slit, stab, skewer, impale.  

Once, we fought back, but it only made things worse. We've learned we
were designed to suffer, we wait for our chance to make it magnificent.

Kami Westhoff is the author of Sleepwalker, which won the 2016 Dare to Be Award from Minerva Rising. Her work has appeared in various journals including Meridian, Carve, Third Coast, Passages North, The Pinch, West Branch, Threadcount, and Waxwing. She teaches Creative Writing at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.