Clamshell

Everything about my shame
is the result of my shell being pried open
by callous, ever-grasping hands
desperate for the rich meat inside.
How could I not hide away
when the only reason I emerged
was because of your forced extraction?
Why are you surprised that I am constantly blushing
and suppressing?
This marsh of liquefied guilt goes
all the way up to my waist.
When will you finally claim responsibility
and plug up the hole you cracked
deep into my side?
There is no water coming to replenish me
and I am rapidly emptying.

Rachael Gay is a barista and recent graduate of Hamline University living in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work has appeared in fēlan and Errata Magazine.

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