As if you can’t lip read.

Cut mute, & love—
the mad season ended at the point I willingly put my lips around wood
to set it in sand. To expose my thin wrists to the elements,
to grotesque embrace, & write.

As if you didn’t know; but made me
spell it out. Made the climax
splinter in my mouth.


Kate Polak is an Assistant Professor at Wittenberg University, where she teaches literature and creative writing. Her research interests include the representation of violence, transnational and diasporic literatures, and digital humanities. Her book, Ethics in the Gutter: Empathy and Historical Fiction in Comics explores how graphic narratives can provide a site for more complex ethical reactions to atrocity.

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