Rochelle Hurt


Time fits me with woman gloves so I grow
a slew of prayers in my bedroom, harvesting
grace whenever I need it—easy as pluck
& squeeze & loosen the seeds of God’s
pampering. Nightly, they come to me—

men in their sin suits, begging for reasons
to need forgiveness. We undress like mountains
falling away, dust of cloth & breast & cock
left like ash around the bed frame. After
hand-holding, the mirror as penance—

I smear my lips with guilt: I’m dirtier
than swine, my mind is filled with flies—
my mind that eats the time. O mangled
heritage of mistakes, the kid in me is done.


Rochelle Hurt is the author of a novel in poems, The Rusted City (White Pine, 2014). Her work appears in Best New Poets 2013, Crab Orchard Review, Mid-American Review, The Southeast Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. She is a PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.