Catcaller Anti-ode

I’ll be the swallow gliding through August sky
          that shits on his ugly head, the splintered
glass he cuts his toes on, the thing with needle
          teeth and too many legs
he feels crawling on his neck but can’t see.
          I want disembodied hands to slap his ass
at the supermarket while he sniffs cantaloupe,
          peaches that hiss I’d fuck you, sweetheart
when he fingers their skin. Give me
          his dignity. Fill his family portraits
with my bare breasts, paper his walls
          with my open thighs, my oil-greased
lips. Carve my eyes into his wood floor.
          Let him wake to the fullness
of my hips smothering him, drown him
          in the wetness he wanted to touch.

Michelle S. Reed is the author of I Don't Need to Make a Pretty Thing (Black Lawrence Press). Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in Waxwing, Salt Hill, Flyway, The Account, and Rhino, among others. She teaches at University of North Carolina Greensboro. Find her online at