Oysters, Poetry and Rollercoasters

CW: This piece contains sensitive themes around death and sexual abuse.



When I wonder if I saw dad’s dead body

or simply imagined it beneath the sheet

after school that winter’s day,


I . . .


When I try hard to remember the name 

of the man who took my virginity 

then dropped me at the side of the road,


I retreat . . .


When I remember my new stepfather’s 

flabby tongue probing my mouth 

while Mom is out running her errands,


I retreat into . . .


When, the morning of my thirtieth birthday, 

I tell my mother I’m tired of that shit,

and she responds, “Oh, he’s still doing that?”,


I retreat into my . . .


When I find my true love at the age of fifty

and the gynecologist tells me 

that it’s time to stop believing in miracles,


I retreat into my private . . .


When, mere months after our wedding,

you admit that you don’t love me 

after I’ve given ‘til the well has run dry,


I retreat into my private world

of oysters, poetry and rollerskates.