Saturday, October 6, 2018


It was his gaze that held me fast
on the sea's edge in Scotland
when the sun crashed.
"American?" he asked, sidling.
He wished me harm.

I'd backed toward just this,
his cable-sweatered arm,
his Scottish brogue, his eyes.
He stroked my vanity
and wished me harm.

We walked, how foolishly for me,
away from all the drowning fires,
the families laughing, in the cooling
hush. Then premonition--
belly first, bile rising.

I taste it as I kill him with this
memory, won't have it be:
my young wrists held back,
his pushing, breaking,
coldly remonstrating, Quiet!

Now I kick, gouge,
hear myself not beg, not
bound in dark union,
have it not true I did not
kill him. A belated dirge.

(An earlier version of this poem is in my collection, Time Warp, 2015; an essay about the rape appears in one of my other blogs.)

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