Logen Cure

CW: sexual assault, homophobia, and abuse

Confession

 

No one needs to know a secret

to sense its weight. Who knew

what sort of girl I was, anyway?

I couldn’t answer

the most basic questions: Do you know

where you’ll go when you die?

Do you know who saved you?

 

David figured I wouldn’t tell a soul,

pinned me to the couch in my father’s den,

pressed my hand against

his insistent threat—

I did that sort of thing,

right?

 

He was Sarah’s on-again/off-again;

she thought she knew him.

Easy to buy that country-boy routine:

the drawl, the manners, his perfect

attendance at Sunday school.

 

Crying over calculus homework,

my solutions blurred as I tried

to tell her, Don’t be alone with him

ever again, please, please.

 

As my throat tightened,

her eyes narrowed. She knew

any heathen will lie;

some women

only ruin a man.

I remembered the framed photo

in her bedroom: his sleepy smile,

his arm around her shoulder.

I’ll pray for you, she said.

 

Lily

 

I couldn’t have known.

She had perfect

teeth, a four-post bed

with a dreamy canopy,

she showed me

 

photos from around the world,

that model smile with so many

postcard backdrops,

her father’s name

on a building downtown.

She talked to me on the phone

late at night, slipped into French

as she drifted off.

 

The obnoxious quarterback

called me faggot in the parking lot

and she dared him, Come closer

and say that again.

 

The first time she hurt me,

I thought accident. I leaned

into my bathroom mirror,

counted her perfect teeth in the deep

bruise on my collarbone.

I hid it.

 

The first time she threatened me

was in a love letter, a full paragraph

for how she would hunt me,

beat me, bleed me if I ever left,

slipped between passages

of fevered praise, I adore you

you’re beautiful

come closer.

 

The first time I dared

to leave, she turned up

everywhere. I rounded

the corner in the bookstore

and there she was with that smile.

I flashed back to how calm

she seemed as her hands

tightened around my neck,

how I tried to look her in the eye

as everything went still, my vision

narrowing into blackness,

the throbbing in my ears growing

distant. I steadied myself against a bookcase,

scanned the store for someone I knew;

no luck.

 

At school, the assistant principal glared at me,

said, You hug your friends

a bit too long; one day some boys

followed me home, fired a pellet gun

through my open window at a stoplight,

call me dyke as every pop

stung my cheeks; the way my father

said queer tasted like blood in my mouth;

my mother said, Those people

should never have children. I spent

weeks finding pellets rolling

in my floorboard. Lily said,

No one else

will ever love you.

 


Logen Cure is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Still, Letters to Petrarch, and In Keeping. She’s an editor for Voicemail Poems. She curates Inner Moonlight, a monthly reading series at The Wild Detectives in Dallas. She serves as an English faculty member at Tarrant County College and earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in Texas with her wife and daughter. Learn more at www.logencure.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: