The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Daryl Sznyter

the raped girl is


showering & never getting clean showering with her clothes on leaving wet clothes on the floor & relishing the smell of mold as it suits her her mom calling her love life the wounded animal project coming down on them like religion fucking like a pneumatic drill flatlining when they ask if she’s close she is the consequence of using the sad girl for drunk sex on a bad first date keeping razors in her pocket to remind herself she could addiction to things she will never do memorizing her light switches in case she has a nightmare & her cat doesn’t stir because he’s sick of her shit constantly questioning the meaning of big bodies in little spaces & little bodies in big spaces preferring blowjobs to sex & never letting a man go down on her taking too many vitamins & supplements because she loves the word supplement because it means she might be able to change who she is spooning mood stabilizers from a stranger’s hip bones too many doctors too many pills constipation unable to hold down a job tired tired tired & drinking too much water & losing weight faster than she can run finally dating someone her mom approves of & nicknaming him prime number & she still can’t cum but he makes her want to try explaining to friends that the mess in her car is a metaphor for her life scratching the furniture feeling magical if she goes one day without crying forgetting to lock doors behind her referring to herself with a lowercase i thinking every word should be abbreviated but not knowing how right-clicking on her name with no thesaurus suggestions patiently waiting for someone to tell her everyone wants to kill themselves sometimes if only to reply but i’ve been wanting for ten years



Daryl Sznyter

synonyms for (other) bodies


i am fat & i am invisible
i go out to eat in groups
& the waitress always
seems to forget my food
it takes me two rounds
to get a beer & after four
we go because everybody
is looking at me because
nobody is looking at me
because i already paid i hit
up the gym in all black
a big black marble i am
invisible big muscled men
lift weights next to me
& i am in their space
their space i move back
with every lunge & i
am in their space & i
move back with every
bicep curl & i am in their
space they hug my space
with their piney sweat
until i have nowhere else
to go but out on my way
out somebody says girls
of my stature will never
outrun their problems i
run fast until i'm origami
& bones i fold in i fold
in i can use my wrists
as scissors i cut my hair
to expose the elegance
of my cheeks i leave
my hair on the floors
of coffee shops & they
still forget my coffee
& i still pay so now
i only drink water
& scrape the glass
with my thinning teeth
& still i am invisible
i accentuate those
striations under my
ribcage i carve out
the meat & feed my
loved ones & still i am
invisible i raise my hand
to ask a question & i am
invisible i interrupt & i am
rude one day i spoke into
silence until my tongue
lit on fire when i paused
for water somebody else
stood up to pawn off my
story & the audience went




DARYL SZNYTER received her MFA in poetry from The New School. Previous and forthcoming publications include Poet Lore, Third Wednesday, Gravel, Best American Poetry Blog, Clockhouse, and others. She currently resides in Pennsylvania.


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