The poet as a little girl, about 1968, in Ocean City, New Jersey.
She remembers hiding in the closet
Afraid to come out for her punishment
Of nothing, really, to be punished for –
Curious, playful, childlike with open eyes
Rather than the closed ones you tried with all your might
To force on her.
And now you come at her again
In the guise of another
In this Sunday of waiting until Monday
When she must face her punishment
For simply trying her best and somehow
Not compensating for your lack.
Please don’t hurt this little girl
Is just a Tahoe daydream
Washed onto my shores.
I have a real heart
That bleeds from the wounds you strike
When you yell at me.
Painter by the bridge:
Life strokes over old canvas,
Betraying old friends.
Both wait for the door
While you sit warm in your car.
She shivers outside.
I’m packing my bags
Carrying them to the street
And standing between.
The Saudi raised hands
In victory as the flogs
Ripped his flesh apart.
Why does the spying
Of her sharing her heart’s pain
Knife her in that heart?