I took him
in my mouth
at fourteen

braced for
the jolt of hot
liquid, acrid,

I didn’t learn
consent until

fucking a woman
who needed yes

with every action,
asking can I touch
you here? Is this okay?

I learned possession
of my body
the unexpected

agency of pleasure.
I was oblivious
until she held me

from the inside
while I sobbed,
her mouth soft

on my carpel,
I bellowed deep
& loud, howled

a chasm open
as a peony.

RAGE HEZEKIAH is a Cave Canem, MacDowell, and Ragdale Fellow who earned her MFA from Emerson College. She is a recipient of the Saint Botolph Emerging Artist Award in Literature and was nominated for Best New Poets, 2017. She is the author of Unslakable, a 2018 Vella Chapbook Award Winner (Paper Nautilus Press). Stray Harbor, her debut full length collection of poems, is forthcoming in 2019 with Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Salamander, Rattle, and West Branch, as well as other journals. Her writing is featured in various anthologies including Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, All We Can Hold: poems of motherhood, and Nasty Women Poets: An Anthology of Subversive Verse. You can find more of her work at

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