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Nympho

Read by Sophie Klahr

Don’t, you wicked one.
I ache all over
running from you.

I learned the spell
against your longing
as a child—all women do:

I learned to want
the permanent man, not some
blond god passing through,

to feel the gut-punch of shame
against the lust, because it’s what
good women do,

go plant that shame
in the forest. Let the sunlight
rocket through.

Rachel Mennies is the author of The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, winner of the 2013 Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry (Texas Tech University Press, 2014) and the chapbook No Silence in the Fields (Blue Hour Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Black Warrior Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere, and has been reprinted at Poetry Daily. She is a member of AGNI’s editorial staff.