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.


S.R. Lazar

There was a moment
not too long
after the turn of the century,
or at least it felt soon after,
where they tried
one last desperate
attempt to cling to their grandfather’s insistence of genetic dominance
determined by gender
when all could not sleep
A night that made anxiety
Weak in the knees as we watched
A decision of the shameless
Of powerless deniers
Of absolute enablers
Because to look in the mirror
Would remind them of all of
The Mothers and maybe their
Fathers who made them
And how they too are both
Victim and lost
To convenience of amnesia
But we were watching
We knew this would happen
Another symptom of excuses
Of excess
And no accountability
But it was time.
Because this was the straw
That broke the straw on top
Of the last thing that happened
We thought we were past
Already we were all