Excavated Girl

by Kara van de Graaf

Three hits to loosen the crook
of her spine, five to widen the reach
of her thighs. They sharpened
their blades and tapped around
the prize, worked until their eyes
stung red with rust. The hammers
cleaved the rock, their bodies cleaved
and spit, though she wouldnā€™t
come free. When they saw how
she fused to the bedrock, how
her hair veined through the walls
like quartz, they dropped their axes
and watched her. One by one, their cells,
touched with oxygen, turned on like lights.

Kara van de Graaf is a doctoral candidate in English at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets, The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, and elsewhere.