The inside girl
It’s time to stop burying the inside girl, the one
who could suck her thumb chew paper, shuckle,
and masturbate in the den, while the family
watched Gun Smoke.
The girl who swallowed her eggs, but longed
for toast, the side dish she could never count on.
Oh yes, her mother had her hands full.
She barely wanted to live, so filled
with shame, as if sadness were a religion, a way
to part seas and drown. Dumb courage was her style
of silent resistance, passive agreement, all nouns
and verbs agreeing that she should go and not return.
The buried girl was blinded by voices entering her body
like a binding that snapped and left her dangling.
The fetid memory of sex rushed like a shudder
and covered her in its wake.