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Cave Canem: A Special Section

Maybe you smiled. Ballanchine bright eyed. Twirled around the hotel room to clapping hands. A ragged

innocent hole where two teeth used to be. Did your cherry tongue wiggle against pink gums as you concentrated?

Everyone assumes you want two front teeth for Christmas. How tired

are these adults? Grinning. Pinching admiration. You squirm under indulgent smiles. Bold and graceful,

your toe in perfect pointe. Thin brown arms. A maple picture frame for your baby fat face.

Did you pirouette in the lobby? Or releve, arms splayed out in second. Foreshadow angels.

Your mother hushing your excitement. Were these the last loving words you heard? Female flesh is tap water

sweet as communion wine. Women are for sale. Maybe this is how Jeremy learned rape and murder:

ripe women so cheap and abundant, little brown girls must be free.

Christina Springer

Christina Springer has published poems in a number of periodicals, including Shooting Star Review, The Pennsylvania Review, Amethyst, and The New Voice. She lives in Pittsburgh.


* In a bathroom stall at the Primadonna Casino in Las Vegas, Sherrice Iverson, a 7 year-old African-American girl, was raped and murdered by Jeremy Strohmeyer, a white teen. This poem strays from the facts of the story.

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