The following poems contain details involving childhood sexual assault/rape and domestic violence.
in Sarah’s voice
I’ll tell you what happened backwards
to erase the memory: Boy,
You’ve got the knife. Daddy comes in.
I practice tears. You are shaking.
You are screaming, your blind-white eyes.
You pull the knife out of the block.
Chili dogs boiling. I chase you to the kitchen.
Daddy’s in the garage. I’ve got you in the living room.
Mother won’t be back for dinner. You’re alone.
I come out of my room. I’m hungry.
Things I Can Say ‘Yes’ To
I can say yes to liking cats and dogs, yes
to sugar in my tea, yes
to olives, yes to pickles, yes
to putting off my work, yes
to falling in love, yes
to being sick, yes
to men I should say no to, yes
to was it long ago, yes
to was it recent, yes
to did she touch you, yes
to did he touch you, yes
to did it hurt, yes
to did they forget a condom, yes
to are you insured, yes
to can we take some blood, yes
to can we call about the results, yes
to are you ok, yes
to does it hurt here, yes
here and here
and here and
here, here, yes.
Teo Mungaray is a queer, chronically ill, latinx poet. He holds an MFA from Pacific University of Oregon and is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a co-founder and co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph. His poems have recently appeared in or are forthcoming from The Acentos Review, ANMLY, Gulf Coast, The Shade Journal, and Waxwing. He has a cat named Lysistrata. You can find him on twitter @teomungaray.