Mom, This Is Not Why, But
Poem By Micah Riot
friendly context and all, nevertheless…
i can’t stop obsessing, turning his “fatherly” affection around in my head.
think back on “you always have to let me know where you are. we mustn’t lose touch.”
one hint of impurity is enough to send me shivering spinning out in circles larger and larger until our lives will never touch again.
this time i decide to combat it.
fight the urge to puke, to quietly leave without making a scandal, because really there is nothing to be screaming about, and i am not about to wait until there is.
there are weeks left until i get credit for burning my eyes at this computer for hours each day, all spring now,
and i am an Antioch poster child,
because there is money in the hands of our government that rightfully belongs to the people and i am that vehicle.
because i still have questions for him about how revolutions are built, and his wife has retinitus pigmentosa and life is no pretty young thing with that disease growing inside your head.
but beyond all reasoning
the fact remains
that no matter how many spikes or leather or steel toed boots I wear out, one seemingly innocent touch or glance or word from a previously trusted male, one gesture of affection too many, too much, sets me up with a panic attack, reduces me to five foot one, one hundred and twenty pounds of frozen meat.
and I know you want to know, so no, I was not raised by a father, but a grandma and a grandpa and sometimes a mother, and I learned some tolerance, but no patience, secrets of feminine beauty, manners and the right body language, smarts for all situations, but those few when I begin to panic, one-on-one with a male, who is stronger no matter how much metal I can bench press or will ever be able to, because I have been touched against my will too many times.