should have known better

i guess she asked for it
i guess she should have known better
i guess she should have remembered
the last time she was alone with a stranger
that dissociated girl spinning 
in a june front yard, golden evening warmth
admiring the long dress swishing at her ankles
and her breasts bouncing in almost-dusk light

how dare she revel in her own body?

the patriarch fumes, already plotting her demise
luring her in gently with little boys on bicycles
who offer to buy a single cherry for a quarter
polite words and yes ma’ams and bags of ice that 
i didn’t know would freeze my heart in time
take me back to where i was before and somehow
i ran right into the lion’s den again
like this time might be different, like a man might be a friend

seduced by the possibilities of summer

my mother’s daughter can drink all night
shots of tequila, bottles of vodka
her genes are primed for booze and distortion
but she was never prepared for benzos, sub rosa
a bludgeoning blackness that remembers no light
my therapist persists, over and over
she tries to engrain safety in a brain 
overeager to trust, to heal, to love 

they’re guilty until proven innocent

my own healer promises of men but
somehow i got a mind that could not fathom 
that its prana would morph masculine, malicious
that a man would plot a pill-induced stupor 
to take what he wished i would give him or
that he would put me to sleep so gently
before he violated me so ruthlessly
jarred for just a moment before everything is gone

i imagine it would horrible to recall

i guess i asked for it 
i guess i should have known better
i guess i should have remembered 
conversation is meant to cue coitus
compassion is construed as consent
but my heart failed again to 
protect from the phallic consequence 
of gentle feminine kindness

i love you so much it hurts,


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