Naked (for the women of Salem)


(for the women of Salem)
Jennifer Gauthier

Naked lately—
flayed over fire
innards exposed indisposed
to tell my secrets
to those who wait.

Called to testify amplify verify the very part
that hides itself away inside.
Bartholomew knew the fate that
I can’t escape
To skin the truth off the lies to try
To skim the oil from the water
As it slews in circles across the surface.

Roiling, my brain buzzes with bitter words
Biting back the worst when they threaten to slip through the slit
That gapes in my face.

Naked later—
Stuffed with stones sinking
Into the dank underbelly of the stream
screaming through the current wetly
with a witch’s wail.

Jennifer Gauthier