Monday, 15 October 2018

Why I Didn’t Report Twenty-six Years Ago, Give or Take

by Suzanne Allen

Because I hadn’t fought. Because
I had only said no and no, and no, and
cried. Because I only twisted under him,
only tried to wrestle my wrists from his grasp.
Because I hadn’t screamed, or kicked.
Because I had only said no
and no, and cried. Because I didn’t want
to talk about it.

Because he was my grandma’s
hairdresser’s nephew. Because
he was an EMT. Because we had
been dating just a few weeks, and
I really liked his friends’
wives. Because I had said yes
before. Because he rode
a motorcycle, fast. Because
he had had more than one serious
crash. His broken nose.
The sometimes wild in his
not-so-clear blue eyes.

I didn’t report until now
because I hadn’t found the words.
I can’t remember the house,
not even where I was living
at the time. I don’t remember
if anyone else was there, or why
I didn’t want to, or if
I stayed the night anyway.
Maybe we had had a barbeque, or
maybe that was a different night.

It was a long time ago, but
believe me: it happened. At first
I tried to forget; now I just try
to imagine he was a good guy,
that he had enough sense to know
what he had done and not
do it again. I hope he didn’t
do it again. I hope he doesn’t…
But it did happen. Believe me.

* * * * *

Suzanne Allen holds an MFA in Poetry and is a coeditor for The Bastille, (of Spoken Word Paris.) Her poems have been published in print and online journals such as Cadence Collective, California Quarterly, Carnival, Cider Press Review, Crack the Spine, Hobo Camp Review, Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, San Pedro River Review, Spillway, Spot Lit, Tears in the Fence and Upstairs at Duroc. Anthology publications include Not a Muse,(Haven Books), The Heart of All that Is (Holy Cow Press), Strangers in Paris (Tightrope Books), Veils, Halos and Shackles (Kasva Press), and Villanelles (Knopf). She also creates videos of poets reading their work, which can be found on YouTube at Vlogosophy. Her first chapbook, verisimilitude, is available at, and her most recent chapbook, Little Threats, was published just this summer by Picture Show Press.

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