Updated: Dec 12, 2017
He slaps my butt and says “ha-ha.”
My guts take a walk and my mind
tumbles forward. The joke was better last time.
This time it isn’t really making
sense and feels sour.
Moldy food that
could do permanent damage
but tastes o.k.
I am a child alone in the aisle and
you are not my mother.
I am taught to be afraid of
evil strangers. I am already a girl
alone don’t touch me
with your fingerprints,
I am a wet trembling
dog where is my owner.
You do not own me. You
do not believe me,
evil stranger who is not
moving. You are the night
after day and your hand
is outstretched like an offering.
A girl alone cannot refuse
what is offered her if it is offered
in kindness, a kindness dark and moving.
She is forward tumbling. Bodily guts of loss
tumbling through moldy food, a girl alone.
He slaps her butt and says “ha-ha” and
she says nothing and thinks
“I said the wrong thing.”
His hand was not really there,
was not moving, did not touch her
and yet touched her deeply. It moved
inside her without moving, ha-ha.
It was quick, a quick walk smoking
in the wrong direction, another moving-up
into the space of her she is never quite protecting.
A child alone in the aisle
who has forgotten the details
of her mother sees her mother
in the denim legs of everyone.
All the Pregos look the same, jars
of blood mush mocking the girl for
being lost without her mother.
Years later he slaps my butt and says “ha-ha”
and the momentum sends me tumbling.