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"Practice," & "Never Knew He Wanted"

Two poems, published at The Rising Phoenix Review,

October 2018

**Content/Trigger warnings: depictions of sexual abuse; inappropriate behavior by a parental figure; depression; alcoholism**


mom wasn’t home, she’d left

to pick up my younger sister,

leaving me wide open, vulnerable

in the face of someone who shouldn’t

be a monster,

but was.

a man who should have taken our love

unconditional as it may be

and cherished it instead of taking

advantage – haunting my nightmares

for years after

& that night

he said, here, take this,

handed me a ripe banana, thick and

yellow – practice with it, he’ll

like that – he meant my boyfriend

at the time, who he had

caught me feeling up on the couch

last Sunday when he came over

for dinner;

our conversation

started off with a weird twist

and a coiling inside my stomach

i don’t think your mother gave you

a good enough sex talk

and this was months after he would

kiss me on the lips good-night

something not even my own

flesh & blood father did

something not even my mother

would do, but I didn’t realize then

that it was wrong

how would I? all I wanted,

all I sought & yearned was love,

acceptance from a father figure

and I thought that’s what he gave me

but in the end

all I was left holding

was that ripe banana and

my heart, dripping blood

aching and crying out like a lost child

I guess they always say,

practice makes perfect

but I never did what he suggested

it felt so crude

and a few years later there was

the divorce which took away his shadow

lingering as it did

over me, a monster that had crawled

out from under the bed

and refused to return to the darkness

from whence he came.


Never Knew He Wanted

he picked up another bottle

only the first of the weekend which

I knew would be drained by the end

of the day, ready for another, ready to

inhale and consume the way

he took apart my heart and ate it whole

drank it in bits, in rough sips the way

he downed the alcohol

never even noticed how

my heart cried every time I saw

his eyes grow bloodshot and his mouth

hang slack; how I yearned for nothing more

than to have his love and hear him say

he loved me

I stayed because I knew he did

in his own way – he told me he

couldn’t stand to be abandoned

after his dad abandoned him that day

he told me over and over, after

the alcohol had gone to his head