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Katie Swinson

He told me his mother took him
to visit cathedrals when he was small.
He talked about the mineral coldness of the marble
and his awe at the vaulted ceilings.
He said he wanted to learn Latin,
so he could read the inscriptions
carved into floor memorializing
the dead.

His cathedrals were succulent bait
and I was a naïve and hungry fish.
I salivated at the sound of his tender descriptions
while he pulled tighter at the hook,
that I was too busy being infatuated to feel.

When he finished reeling me in,
the hazy beauty of his cathedrals vanished.
He began to fiddle with the zipper
of my jeans and his mouth insisted
that I wanted to offer my body to him
as thanks for his poetic stories.

My mind snapped awake,
I was no longer a dozing in the shallows.
I pulled away, no’s rising up loudly from my mouth
while I moved further and further across the room.
But he had not gone to the trouble
of reeling me in just to let me go.

So he took my body,
and while I bled onto the sheets
he told me that this,
the violation and the pain,
was what I had wanted all along.
Waiting for his thrusts to cease,
I prayed to the God of his mother’s cathedrals
for mercy.

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