shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Laura Ann Reed

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Atlas of Pain

My father's people came from that part of Russia
where Mongolian warriors on foaming steeds

once raged through towns, slaughtering the men
and raping the loveliest young girls, whose wails

echoed in the roads and fields for centuries. No wonder
my dad, handsome man, had those high cheekbones

and lidless eyes. No wonder I was born on horseback
galloping at break-neck speed, my jet black hair flying

around my head as I brandished a glittering steel rapier—
ready for all those long and bloody wars that lay ahead.