Victimhood Signature by Claire Kruesel

oh, so your victimhood
is the hand that signs

your check. why, then
do you wear it like gold

engraved calligraphy
announcements of a
new job? this is nothing

new. you were born to
this role, & did nothing

to get out, though you
constantly rally against

its unfairness, bemoan
the crushing weight be-

fallen your pile of bones.
(monthly amount for how

hard it is to rouse your
arsenal of retired femurs
& tibias into getting out

of bed & into a suit made
of anything but feeling

sorry for yourself). when
they pay you for lack of

agency, they should also
take away your signature.
it doesn’t mean anything

anymore. other people do
the writing for you, while
you pretend, mouth open

mimicking the words
people say when they

have to back them up.



Claire Kruesel grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, then migrated to Iowa State University to study Biochemistry and Genetics.  She is currently a first-year candidate in the MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment, focusing on poetry but getting familiar with all sorts of words. Her interests include merging science and art, evolutionary psychology, hand-drawing fonts, antiques, singing, and viewing the world through shifting perspectives of scale.