poetry
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Carrot Juice

image

Police have a very distinct knock.
It is strong and fast and very deliberate
like a musician on a drum.
It is something they must teach in police training:
how to instill fear and make hearts beat fast
so that your own body is all you hear when they speak.
The day they knocked on my nana’s door
asking for little bitty me all I remember
is my heart and my knees and my quietquiet voice.
The only other time my heart had beat so fast was
on the night they were there to ask me about.
I didn’t know that knees could be so loud or
I could have such minimal control
over my legs. My nana held my hand,
said not to be scared just like He had
said I had to talk if I wanted them to catch him.
They were looking for Toire.
They came for the story of how we ended up alone.
They wanted to know whose home we were at when it happened.
Some party with kids and adults
games for us alcohol for them-
a regular family affair with drunk men
in dark rooms sending one little girl to fetch another.
She said he wanted to talk to me but
I dreaded going in because he was always so mean,
making me drink the carrot juice I hated
always threatening to spank me full of nasty words.
Not that night. He was real nice.
Wanted me to sit with him
lie down with him
on top of him.
Arms hugging me close like he never had before
hand across skin rubbing bottom under shorts.
Fingers slipped under panties right as someone knocked on the door
some savior whose face I can’t see
blinded by terror and memory broken.
The last thing I remember is walking into the light of the hallway
the rest of the night so loud and very silent.
That was when I learned how Wrong feels. Wrong is violent.
Wrong is the sound of an iron pot falling on tile and
taking a while to stop making noise. It is that sound in the bones
rattling across seconds that drag like minutes that add up
to make moments that should never exist.

 

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