Copper Canyon Press is a nonprofit, independent poetry publisher based in Port Townsend, WA. We believe poetry is vital to language and living. Since 1972, Copper Canyon has published extraordinary poetry from around the world to engage the imaginations and intellects of readers. Read more

Sonnet for a Dollar

by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

You tied the boy’s shoes every morning.

You washed his desk with shaving cream.

You opened your mouth & let him look inside.

You kicked your teacher in the shin & said: Sorry, Miss.


You kissed him on the lips for five seconds.

You gave him shivers. You gave him the knife.

You read books in a whisper, close to his face.

You let him slap you, then rock you in his arms.


You let him unclasp your bra with his eyes closed.

You let him call you puta in front of his friends.

You let him bite your finger until it turned purple.

You crawled on your hands & knees like a dog.


When you told your father all the things you’d done

for a dollar, he laughed & laughed.

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