Hospitality—The Witch Offers Accommodations

I keep the boy in a little cage hung
from the rafters,
and when I pass by I give it a push, try
to judge his weight
by how slowly
it swings, by the groan of the wooden
beam above as its burden
shift and shifts, shifts
and spins below.

All the while, the little one runs loose
in her bare feet—scurries
from the kitchen to the cage
to feed the boy, and back
to feed him more.
At night, before she sleeps
I check the soles of her feet
with a needle—see how deeply
I can stick her before she starts to bleed.

Liz Kay is a founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and the journal burntdistrict. Her poems have appeared in, or are forthcoming from, such journals as Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod, RHINO, Sugar House Review, and Willow Springs. Her chapbook "Something to Help Me Sleep" is available from {dancing girl press}.