Past Lovers

Who do you complain to when your ninth grade romance
leads to a silent night before 12th grade when you lose
your virginity in a background, and you become just a silhouette
screaming that you wish you had not? When you have known
about masturbation from the day you were eight because
someone masturbated to you, after closing bedroom doors.
“Does anal hurt?”, she asks after smoking the third cigarette
I smile and I whisper, “Lots.” “But, not as much as him
Forcing me down so that I wouldn’t enjoy it more than he did”
remains a subtext. This grows until my silences become
novels which need writing, and I am afraid that he would notice
his name which rides on anonymity. Maybe, he has forgotten.
I’m ambivalent about that, do I want him to forget how I felt?
Maybe, if he remembers, there will be regret, but, what if
it is another day when he does not listen to my screams and is
there telling me about how he would like to try something new.
“Something new”, my friend who is strong says, and starts
Painting with words, showcasing her pain to be a strength
surviving without dilution, without any kind of pretense.
Shame flows through me, I remember my false pretense
and how I tried to remove his taste, by spraying deodorant
on my tongue. Shit decomposing, turns to green goo
and you can drown and suffocate, without a light to see.
You detoxify, and I have spent years trying to run away like an addict
getting rid of heroin in their bloodstream. Every time I look at a man
I measure him up to the past failure, telling myself that I am
not looking for you. “Battered wife” is not what I will live with
but, it is painful because books become smokescreens before
a TV screen showcases our past, and I am puking.
I have not listened to music, and I could not masturbate until I was 18
before your face was replaced by another, and I believe
that he was worse because I knew what he was doing.
Only I didn’t protest because ever since, eight I never had
anyone exclusively. There are only so many musicians you can
cut out because of the memories. Suddenly, you are dancing
ballet with the most amazing guy in the company and they will
put on that song, and he won’t know what hit him.
However, that is not how I know what the worst is, the absolute worst
comes from reclaiming my body. Answering my friend’s
call, walking back into your restaurant and realizing though
they change the interior decoration and shit, the chicken soup
still got your saliva in it. I am still afraid about going out
meeting people not pre-approved, but, then that is shit.
The last time I had a hook up I went outside and I smoked
five cigarettes, one after the other, until he walked into me
and hugged me. Yeah, we weren’t supposed to keep contact
but, that was the only bus ride from our hotel, that did not stink
of your masculinity. And I know I am 21 and fuck, I need to figure
out a way out of this, but, I cannot behind
this wall that is chasing me. You do not return my calls, as if me
accusing you was the greater crime than you raping me.
Sorry I wrote this poem
You did always accuse me of not keeping the peace