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Sleeptight Baby
*Trigger Warning*

I want to bite my nails
Off. I want to scrape at
The polish with my teeth and 
Peel at them until 
I taste blood but your
Coarse fingers muzzle me. The 

Punch sloshes in my 
Head and makes my neck a
Thin spring with my head-weight stretching
It thin like a broken doll with shiny big
Eyes that really blink its plastic eyelashes thick and 
Wet. I have

Locked my door from the dark and 
Dark men lurking but donít doubt the 
Grinning demon as he walks wide-eyed through my 
Door and talks me senseless and
Talks me to tears and then grabs my 
Heart with his teeth. I bob my broken
Metronome head and he watches me gasp in his
Grip all the while the dizzy red drink cuts
Careening through my veins and fills my
Lips to a quiver almost like a blushing lover under
Your calluses. And then comes

The dance I politely refuse. My head hurts, 
You see, and itís getting late. You really should
Go my doll eyes flutter but youíre not 
Looking at my eyes and youíve already 
Swallowed my tongue so you push and I 
I lean and I dance and you follow me incessantly pushing
And pulling at my face and I keep 
Indiscriminate time with my spring neck. I donít

Know when I was dropped to my bed. I want
To sleep but your writhing weight empties my chest and
Your lips seal the air from my mouth. Your lips
Taste like beer and sweat and I think you must 
Ignore the taste of wet salt on mine. I look
Up at the dark eyes I trusted until 
I couldnít, that were kind until
They werenít. I shut my eyes but I still feel

You ripping the skin off my face your
Teeth gnawing at my neck and your
Hands your fingers have teeth that are
Scraping up my legs aiming for the warm bloody
Core of me and I think I am 
Screaming but I have no tongue and my
Body spilled out its limbs in a broken bouquet over 
My sheets and my head stopped keeping its uneven time when 
It hit the mattress, my mattress, so

I donít even know when itís over. 
Youíre gone, and my shell heaves in a heap, 
Alone, entombed, with my own salt-soggy cotton insides
All on my outside. 
Legs torn to tendon and muscle cord, 
With sallow jowls and sunken sockets cradling the plastic eyes
That are frozen half open, staring soullessly at the ceiling
That I sleep under every night.
Danielle M. Cosio
Published in Issue 34