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Poetry #256
(published December 8, 2005)
While I Lay Quietly
by C.L. Bledsoe
"You're so smart; well you don't know
what it's like to have them come at you," She said.
"Throwing your legs so wide they crack
like dead wood, so it leaves stretch marks in your skin,
that almost look like words."

I tried not to look at her face as she told me
that I couldn't know how nice they'd been
at first, but I could almost feel
the small talk and the drugs as she purred
in the hotel room they'd rented to party.
And then them punching her between her legs.

She told me
it felt like they were beating her with sledgehammers,
while I sat there wondering
how I could shout them all down
so she wouldn't hear her friend
screaming in the bathroom,
wondering how I would know
if every man I met was one of them,
wondering if I should touch her shoulder.

I don't know what its like
to have them come at me.
But as she stared through my dirty windshield
talking softly to the gray and brown gas station parking lot,
I felt as though I could see them
creep softly into the next room
while I lay quietly

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