Daddy’s Game

I imagine you must’ve shut
yourself off somehow–the way
you’d eventually teach me to do–
before you entered my room
like a king’s shadow.

I hear the scrape of your jeans
your hands hot and big like swings;
I’m young so I love you. I do as you say.
You blow smoke in my face.

Now, here, I slip
because you taught me how to shut off–
how to die inside,
and I have only memories
of my body:

fear, arousal, panic and pain,
death around every corner
shh girl shh

I hid so well I lost me
in this confusion of a woman
trying to bud from
what’s already been picked.


published in Aqueous Magazine, Haggard and Halloo, Frigg Magazine, and The Writing Disorder


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