Dont Ask Dont Tell

Blood pounding in the ears
clawing, scratching, waiting for the scream to rise.
Wake up, wake up! I am awake in mid-nightmare.
Violence jettisons the consciousness to safe harbor
somewhere unknown – brutality against resisting flesh.
Hands grip so hard, lingering bruises are in the shape of hand prints
around the neck, across the breasts, on the thighs.
Unending pain, softness and beauty once so tender are violated, bleeding
sullied in no explicable way.
I cannot tell you. face judgement, the inquiry.
I cant tell you what I will not own as history.
Please don’t ask why I cant talk about
the mattress carrying girl anymore. You can’t know
the word “rape” fires up my brain, heart-rate and the need to flee
and the word makes me not able see you anymore or hear your words.
Please don’t ask. Don’t tell.


Disrupted runners run to local hospitals to donate blood.
In a moment, when the ordinary turns surreal,
when calm turns to panic,
our natures rise to the surface.
There are those whose nature
affords them to see clearly amidst the chaos.
They calm, soothe, take action,
while others, stunned, cannot move,
shake, whimper and withdraw.
There is no moral judgement in either reaction,
crisis triggers each individual’s survival skills.
We all have a place at such moments.
We join, holding on to our humanity,
With a glance, with a touch, we comfort one another.
The active and the withdrawn meld to
survive, transcend and create
a future kinder and gentler for us all.