It’s like I kissed a whole pond full of frogs and they’re all
still frogs and my mouth is dirty, my hands grown slick
with disappointment. It’s like every day
is like that. Like all my smiles are mossy fountains
that men only visit to throw pennies in. Like
my belly’s full of metal
and the broken symphony of my step
makes children cry. So I keep smiling.
Like every excuse isn’t a splinter shoved deep
in my fingers, like weaving isn’t
a pointless chore. Like a man
didn’t reach for my cheek once
and watch his hand turn to smoke
and now I’m the reason one-armed men
hate women. I cross bridges at night
and camp in the woods like I’m not
searching for monsters, for anyone
who will look me in the face
and not ask me stupid questions.
Kristina McDonald received her MFA from Eastern Washington University. Her chapbook Stories I Tell My Godmother was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2015. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The American Journal of Poetry, Narrative, New Guard Review, Sugar House Review, and Yemassee.
Artwork: Sarah Ann Loreth