On the phone, at a gas station, in our dreams
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At the end of our weekly sessions, as I’m about to walk out the door, I hand The Lovely Harry a manila envelope of poems I’ve written that week. Some weeks it’s a thin envelope; other weeks the pages inside push against the seams with their folded energy.
It was after this, in the three or four weeks before she stopped coming to class entirely, that Sheila started bringing in the Murder Plays.
After barre, Mme. Francesca follows me to the locker room and tells me I’m officially going to the Cupids dance program this summer and I just can’t stand it.
One of the reasons we’re lonely . . . is that we’ve cut ourselves off from the nonhuman world, and have called this “progress.”
We’ve all heard there was drinking, that the parents weren’t home, that the house was huge, full of places for disappearing. And when the girl pressed charges a week later, the boy was incredulous, and his parents were ready to put up a fight.
Flunking a driver’s test, frightening a bully, grown up at fourteen
You had the face of a man who couldn’t help understanding everything — all of it, the whole pathetic, tragic human thing — and that draws people in. To me you were a magnet of kindness.
I used to feel like an imposter because of my breasts, because even before I got pregnant they were pretty spectacular, and it’s made me wonder if I’ve ever actually earned anything, or if all the jobs and awards and opportunities I’ve gotten, really, have just been handed to me because of fat deposits that would be disgusting if they were placed a few inches lower, on my belly.
This man could have been my rapist, but he looked too nice. He had thick, wavy hair, like a movie star from the seventies, and a jawbone that could take out your eye. I hung my feet over the edge of the roof and let myself slide into his arms.
We experience two kinds of violence: the violence done to us by others, and the violence we do to ourselves. The latter hurts more, because it’s of our own making.