Don’t tell

There are words we can’t say.
Words that if we speak them
are just sounds leading
to soap in the mouth
or hours in a bedroom
no longer safe. There are things
we don’t have words for, because no-one
speaks them or teaches them.
We can show the words only
acted out on dolls, nameless ones
we don’t play with.
They are as quiet as those things
done to us and the only words we know
are don’t tell, don’t think, don’t do
just be silent.

Just be good.

For the Duggar girls.

Posted in New Free Verse | 6 Comments

On The Duggars

Originally posted on What a Witch:

Sexual Abuse Silence

I don’t want to talk about the parents.

I don’t want to talk about how they raised their children in a cult.

I don’t want to talk about Josh Duggar.

He’s a child molester.

I don’t want to talk about his “reform.”

Josh and his parents insist that he is no longer a danger, but Josh and his parents are also the people who hid his sexual assault.

So maybe their word is not so valuable.

Oh wait, I’m sorry, I misspoke. (mistyped?)

Their word means less than nothing and I would be perfectly happy if they would shut the fuck up.

I don’t want to talk about the family’s connection with Hobby Lobby.

I don’t want to talk about the fact that the place that Josh was sent to for “counseling,” the place wherein the family claims that Josh underwent his “reform” was run by a man who is…

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This was the day
that marked summer for me,
wearing white shoes
and counting farm stands
selling strawberries
on the way home.

Now, I find respite in ritual
whether I am placing flags
or arranging geraniums
or counting from memory
how many guns were fired
the day we put you in the earth

Finally alone.

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chasing feathers
as if they are more
than evidence of flight

and perhaps simply sky
falling again
heavy-bellied on roofs
and bowing branches

as if feathers and clouds
have something in common
besides air

and my appetite
for the absurd
is something bigger
than breath

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I should be baking cake
or inflating black balloons
or making dinner plans

but there’s nothing to celebrate
that’s live

so I’ll give you this moment
of my should be doings

instead of this intolerable is.

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The difference
between riot and revolution
depends less on calculating the number of windows broken,
shots fired,
or naming and cataloging our dead.

The definition rises in smoke
from what’s burned
quantifiable only after
the burning.

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If it were about cake

If this were about cake
and just that and fondant
with matching figures on top
pouring sugared acceptance
like libation into those small pans
I’d say buy another
somewhere else
and don’t demand it

but this cake is less rolled icing
and more symbol
which tastes bitter to some
as they bake it

and far sweeter
to simply eat.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 11 Comments