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St. Ursula's Origin

If I
could tell
the truth

about
what happens
to the marks

you leave

but won't stay
long enough

to watch
change

shape
change color

finally
fade

*

December
makes me
want

to terminate
every

unreliable
connection

*

The marks
turn into
syllables

I
stay

swollen

wait
for
words

breed
heirs

you'll
never

know

*

from your
whip

came
something

so far
from

decorous

*

I shudder
to recall

just how

I was
conceived

---Barbara Claire Freeman



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