December 11, 2014



I will not identify the witch doctor. I hoped that the acts, the mummery, the treatment, and the woven spells would disgust me. The conjurer, after his rage, lifted me gently by the hand and turned me around.

I have seen him again bring in a black cat with its feet tied together, showing me its head turning like a black devil. I’ve seen him hold a red bag of cloth. I’ve seen him plunge a hand into a pocket. I know the faces of people are lighter outside the room. I know their faces are often duplicated on the streets.

Someone applies the product made to turn dark skin light.

I do not speak but put on my hat and coat in the adjoining room.

ALISON STRUB is a creature of the internet and a dog lover. She received her M.F.A. at George Mason University and resides in Arlington, VA. Her poems have appeared in HandsomeShampooDenver Quarterly, Alice Blue ReviewPANK, and other fine publications. She can be reached via Google.

Curatorial note: The following poems are a response to a call for poetry about rape culture for the annual Delirious Advent Feature; the call is in turn an immediate response to the Rolling Stone story “A Rape on Campus” about rape culture at the University of Virginia. However, they are also part of a larger conversation about rape in poetry communities. Curated by Jessica Smith and Susana Gardner.

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