The Price of Piety
by Lillian Rose King

  1. My little whore, you say
  2. as though you think
  3. you invented the term.
    1. As though
    2. every man with the voice to say it
    3. has not uttered those words.
      1. I am young, you tell me.
      2. But you are wrong;
      3. painted lips and powdered cheeks
      4. hide the truth.
        1. I have heard there are cultures
        2. where those
        3. who sell their bodies are revered.
          1. Where men’s touches are kind,
          2. tracing my skin with calloused fingers
          3. as they whisper sweet nothings.
            1. I smell like honey, you whisper.
            2. Face pressed into my neck.
            3. Misty eyes flash your reflection;
            4. do you know what smoke does to bees?
              1. I want to drag my nails
              2. down the lips you think I love.
              3. Your blood will paint the manicure
              4. you could not afford to buy me.
                1. You say nothing.
                2. Instead I laugh
                3. as I imagine your eyes
                4. dripping with gore.
                  1. And I tell you that I am not as young
                  2. as you think I am.
Packingtown Review – Vol.8, Winter 2016/2017

Lillian Rose King is studying Creative Writing at Bowling Green State University.

  1. Gabriella Garofalo
    I Saw a Dead Beepoetry