A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users
If I had been a ten year old stranger
and you had tripped me in a dark alley, say,
downtown, instead of our mutual living room
I’m sure I would have screamed.
If, in the alley, you had straddled me as fast–
your knees clamping my elbows into asphalt,
not the blue Chinese dragons
of our living room rug,
I might have been quiet there, too.
When you opened my mouth
with your heavy flat thumbs,
filled it with pain and flesh–
I would have choked in the alley,
as anyone would choke.
But if you had groaned then, and stood up,
walked away from the dark street
leaving me to vomit and shake alone,
I might have been saved.
I could describe you to policemen.
Perhaps their composite would match your photo
in the Harvard Reunion guide.
Your fingerprints, lifted from the collar of my dress,
might be found in Coast Guard files.
If they never found you and there was no trial
I could have gone home to people who loved me:
horrified, enraged, they would plot revenge
and rock me to sleep in soft arms.
I would have been frightened, maybe forever,
of alleys, strange men, and the dark–
but encouraged by the world, who would hate you on my behalf.
I would have been as safe as a ten year old can be.
Instead, I rose quietly from the Chinese rug
and went upstairs to wash.
No sound escaped me.
I couldn’t afford to throw up,
and it wasn’t the first time.
Copyright 2000 Molly Fisk. From Listening to Winter (Roundhouse Press). Reprinted in Vox Populi by permission of the author.
Wow. Just wow.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Most powerful imagery of this atrocity I have read Molly. Thank you for giving voice to the unspeakable. This is so important.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Twitter account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Facebook account.
( Log Out /
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Enter your email address to subscribe to Vox Populi for free.
Enter email address.
Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.
Blog at WordPress.com.