“These poems are so lovely.” “Thank you,” I say.
“It was hard to get that effect.” “But when
they are pretty it is hard to believe
they might be true.” “Oh. Do you think I need
an ugly poem? For credibility?
What do you suggest? What do you think would
convince people this is true? Should I tell
how he ripped into me and then I screamed
in pain? He thought that meant I liked it. That’s
what he told me after. Oh! I know what!
I bled from my rectum the day after,
only a little, but I still put on
a menstrual pad. How sore I was, the ache
in my body a window to the wound
in my spirit. I put on my tight jeans,
so I’d feel like something was holding me
together. What I remember most, though,
is nothing so impressive. Just sitting
in my rocking chair, on pillows, shawl-wrapped,
shrunk into myself like an old woman,
crying and crying and crying. But that
won’t convince anyone. What do you think?
I don’t know. It’s like Saint Christopher, or
the moon landing, vaccines, the Holocaust.
Those who believe, believe. Those who won’t, don’t.”