I keep my nails
after Sharon Olds
It hangs in its cell, a purple-headed inmate
strangled by prison linens.
It moves when he moves, a police dog
in primal heat, frothing at the mouth, coarse hair
matted by semen and sweat — and every morning
in his presidential bed, it stands up
for the anthem, and he aims it
like a missile.
SHREYA VIKRAM is a writer based in India. She is the recipient of the Dorothy West Scholarship 2020. Her work is forthcoming in Lunch Ticket, GHLL, Salmon Creek Journal and elsewhere. You can find more of her writing at shreyavikram.com