Perhaps my father was the first,
with his absence,
except for the rare storms from his daytime slumber
to terrorize us into quiet so he could sleep.
I once got caught in the cross fire of his flying hands.
I was not yet 3.
My older sisters squealed and screamed him awake.
But I was too naive to run.
Before that, he was the myth my mother made us believe
about fatherhood and tender love.
First Cut II–
Another one I summons from memory caves
was the gorgeous boy
with the ass long shiny silk brown hair
and tan flawless skin sunk into Italian brown eyes.
I was 13 and he 15.
He paid me attention, walked with me at night
on a quiet moon-lit road named Candlewood as we
murmured our intentions, our future married selves
–or I did.
I couldn’t believe he was interested in me, a brainy
average-looking girl with the wrong kind of hair that refused
to hang long and straight from a middle combed part.
And a week after that walk under the old gibbous moon,
when I told him I wanted to marry a bodily lover,
he failed to appear, non-responsive, ghosted–
and I cried the cliché with a painful heart, torn
and scorned, never to be stabbed the same again,
my pillows my week-long companions in sob-town.
Though others made Caesar of my heart, dagger
hurlers and stabbers, I remember them vaguely.
Not like the first cuts, the baptismal soul’s sarcophagus.
First Cut: Poem 15