The first time
I did “the right thing”
and reported it
and lost my playground privileges.
The second time
I decided didn’t happen
because I wanted to keep
The third time
I didn’t want
to ruin his future.
And he said he was sorry.
That counts, right?
He said he was sorry
for drugging me
throwing me around
a hostel bathroom
like a bloodied ragdoll.
Using any hole
he could sink his dick in.
But he really was sorry.
And he’s so young too.
So young and full of promise like me.
And I’m alright.
I repeat to myself,
as I walk along,
my heart racing,
my holes aching,
in a hopeless attempt to self-soothe.
You’re alright Caitlin,
just like my mother used to say
when I’d busted my knee.
Besides, I might
had I not had to fish out my tampon
the next morning.
It was jammed right to the back
of my vagina and I wasn’t sure
I’d ever get it out.
My vagina was all cut up
and touching the wounds brought back flashes
of being held up fully clothed under a shower
(Did I stop breathing? Did he think he’d killed me?)
of vomiting in a toilet bowl
while being fucked in the ass,
of making a grab for the door
while he casually clicked the lock over
but I might
if he hadn’t have said sorry.
So maybe I could pretend I didn’t know, right?
Maybe I could skip the part
where I miss my train
and go to a foreign police station
and be fingered by a foreign doctor
and be questioned in a foreign accent
about a boy that has already skipped town
who probably has a bright future
or something along those lines,
and anyway I’m alright.
Plus I didn’t want to tell my Dad.
Oh man, he’d be so sad! And angry!
And he would blame himself.
I still don’t want to tell my Dad.
Dad, please don’t read this poem.
I want you to keep thinking of me as
your beautiful baby girl.
Please? Because I am.
I am still your perfect daughter, Dad.
I’m so sorry I let that happen!
I’ll try to do better next time.
And I don’t want you to beat yourself up
thinking you should’ve protected me.
You are such a beautiful Dad and I love you so much.
I don’t want them to hurt your heart like they did mine.
And I’m alright, really I am!
I put on twenty pounds
and stopped wearing mini-skirts.
There. That should do it.
But it just got worse
as I got more worn down
and I lost all my fight
“Just get it over with”
“He’ll be done soon and you can sleep”
Surrender, surrender, surrender.
Fatter and fatter and fatter.
“You’re alright, you’re alright, you’re alright”
I’d say to myself,
not much more than a eunuch,
holed up with my dying spark
somewhere in the back
of my scarred and sacred vagina.
I’m not alright.
This is not alright.
I am not some sweaty gym sock
to be pumped full of cum
Out of the jungle came my Maxx,
defector of the patriarchy,
and he found me in my cave.
Together we breathed life into that spark
which made a little fire
that burns in me today.
This is why I can write now.
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