poem

“Tempting” he said about the case of cupcakes behind me 

and winked. I backed into the corner table he had chosen to face the street, not feeling turned around except in my memory. It had not been tempting, just information. 

I’m sitting down with a married man in public. 

She has loose morals, I hear them think

At every table that I don’t turn to look at in the café around me. 

If I had looked, I’d see my mother watching me. 

She has loose morals. 

Like loose bowels

Like loose entrails

Entrañas

Red wet strings like hammock of ground beef

Falling out of me

Between my legs and morals 

For the world to see 

Between my legs

Loose morals. 

(Perfume de Violetas) 

Like the red round stain on white underwear

It appears uncontrollably and grows, outward, like the moon or wetness on paper. 

She was made fun of for being dirty

For being messy

For smelling bad

For being unclean

When she played in the schoolyard. 

But the truth is that she was raped. 

You pointed at her and laughed. 

But the truth is that she was raped. 

Your mom found and threw away her underwear

Calling her a whore

But the truth is that she was raped. 

She lay in the nurse’s bed with bruises 

And they asked her who treated her so badly. 

She wet the bed from way before they pulled her in the trailed and pushed her down, down, down below the floor, untied her sanity, ripped her soul apart, and clawed her pigtailed hair. 

Nadie te escuche. 

The truth 

Of being raped. 

(Madison)

Entered the hallway

And boarded the 7th grade stage. Space of humiliation. 

Selena plugged her nose and Emma giggled. 

“Is this a fish market?”

The Native American girl said loudly. 

Emma giggled. 

“It smells like fish in here! Is this a fish market?”

Emma giggled. 

I sat uncomfortably and watched as you realized this commentary was about your period. 

I hadn’t gotten mine yet. 

I didn’t like Selena. 

Or Emma giggling. 

Emma giggled. 

You left in tears. 

I sat but didn’t smell the fish market. 

It would have been unfair, either way.

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