Kyle Ross

Forgive Yourself


While the crowds of gods at Jupiter’s feet

permitted the flood that would eradicate humanity,

while they played their parts by giving silent consent,


I realized that I have committed the same betrayal.

I let my hair be pulled back, my scalp rising with roots

nudged towards the surface, and when I choose not to protest


it’s as if I was agreeing that I came from his rib—

it’s as if I was giving him permission to repeat this

with whatever women he’ll find after I leave.


I can’t stand to hear my name in the wrong man’s mouth

but I have to admit that I used to let them speak it anyway.

I have to admit to being the cruelest person on this page.


Not one god said no to Jupiter and Eve never asked

if the rib was a lie. I didn’t ask myself if I actually liked men

until I had already known a few of them.


Kyle Ross’s poetry can be found in the undergraduate journal Collision.

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