Mother, this is way-out-back campfire talk. This is through-the-smoke campfire talk. This is the beat-beating of bats through the canopy—their sonar song. Much like the redemption Bob Marley wailed through the record player when I was five: dancing on Dad’s feet, my toes on his, my body reaching.
I’m not afraid of monsters, Mother, just the lingering ghosts. The dresser in my bedroom forms the dark figure of my rapist in the middle of every night. This is not like when I was a child. This is not the boogey man under the bed, the jabberwocky in the closet.
This is fear like when you told me butterflies were angels and I found one dead against the poppies in the backyard. This is the melody of the broken-winged butterfly still against the blood red of the petals. This is the no-sound of its body lifted by the wind and carried into the yard. I could not find it when you asked to see, only showed you orange powder on uplifted palms.
Mother, this is the never-enough campfire talk, the always-going-going-going campfire talk. This is earth on our lips, ash on our feet. Telling you my rapist… Read more »