Prayer for My Rapist —Frannie Lindsay
I hope he has learned
to slink unnoticed across the nights’
sad meadows, leaving the asters
alone in their clusters, evading
the blackberries’ thorns. So much
running: from pillow-slam,
in the sock, from bureau shoved
in front of bathroom door. From
seven streaked polaroids.
He has a silky scar
on the left just under one eye. He is
short, his hair is lush as a puppy’s.
Touching him saves my life.
Remembering him saves my life.
Crouch him in any dark, deprive him
of fingerprints. I will always be
wide awake although he is old,
a little less mad, cleaned up.
Something about the things
that a stare can’t freeze, the squalid
rattle deep in the ribs. It is only
a cough. It is only a trapped wolf’s fury.
It is the sum of his father’s father’s
despair, no more than that.
He has no shirt. He has no coat.
His shoes are torn. He is thirsty, his legs
are weak. He clatters and trips.
The soft grass offers him only
the might of her pity.
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky
Craig Santos Perez