To My Girls

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and National Poetry Month.  For those two very important markers, I’m offering an old poem that I wrote back in undergrad.  I still revisit it from time to time.


To My Girls.

sometimes, we pick scabs
and are surprised they still bleed,

spouting oceans of crushed
pomegranate and shame.

we forget until we
hear that voice,
thick as paste down our throats

[whispering hot breath on
young necks.]

i want him to taste the
color of this pain; plant

needles in his lower lip like
the lies breathing, rooted in

our chests; plunge revenge
into his forehead because

our mothers accused us of
being liars or pretended to

be blind. cleaving hearts.
leaving our palms empty. loathing

every clear day
ruined by his thrust. love,

survival is more important
than innocence. i am here to

remind you, the shriveled part
of you that hides, how beautiful

it is and you are, despite these
memories. despite this loss.

[how watching every sunset and sunrise is a
testimony to your struggle.]

let us beat down
those spoiled summer

suns with our smiles, for to
laugh is to live and love again.

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