Poetry by Nin Andrews

Confession 1

I hate confessions. 
I hate tattling on anyone,
especially myself.
Secrets are meant to stay secret,

I say. That’s why I keep mine
in a black box in the basement.
If I put my eye up close
I can peek through the slats

at the girl inside.
She stares back at me unseeing
through pink-rimmed glasses.
Sometimes she cries and wipes snot
on the sleeve of her blouse.
Then she pees in her little bed.

Yes, there’s a bed in there.
I’m not so mean as to leave her
without a place to sleep.

I’m sick, she calls out,
I want to throw up.
She’s sick all the time—
it’s so disgusting.
All that liver and bacon
her father made her eat,

all that sausage and eggs
and grits . . .
Just three more bites! he says.
Open wide.  And she does.
She opens and opens.
She doesn’t know he’s dead.  

Sometimes she prays on her knees.
Her god listens to her sobs.
Yes, there’s a god for the girl
in the box.  She feeds him
under the bed,
his tongue as rough as a cat’s
as it licks her in the dark.
 

Nin Andrews is the author of six chapbooks and six full-length collections of poetry including The Book of Orgasms, Sleeping with Houdini, and her latest book, Why God Is a Woman.  The recipient of two Ohio Arts Council grants, her poems have appeared in many literary reviews and anthologies including Ploughshares, The Paris Review, The Best of the Prose Poem, and four volumes of Best American Poetry. This poem was originally published in Agni.