I remember so clearly
Aware of my thinking
How it felt good when
He touched me
What a soothing way to
To help me fall asleep
A friend of the family’s
Teenager son
Left in charge of me
tucked in
the bedroom of my mother’s
childhood home
I was in my mom’s bed

My mom’s bed
where once
She may have
dreamed me up
Or fought off trauma
Us! Maybe as warriors
Together! Maybe my mom
Raising horses in the backyard
Dreamed of me there in
My mom’s bed

Where he touched me
I remember his rubbing
And then the shift in me
When he whispered
Don’t tell
Don’t tell
Your grandma when
She gets home
Left imprinted-confusion
How I knew then
I had felt,
I had enjoyed,
Was wrong and that
If I tell, it is
My fault.
So if I keep a secret-
My secret of liking the
attention or the secret
that he told me not to tell
or the secret
that it happened
This was what he taught me:
That if I keep the secret
It will still be
my fault.

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