Kate LaDew

Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Arts.  She resides in Graham, NC with her cats Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin.

I remind myself you aren’t like that

 

 

and it’s not your fault you don’t understand

but I am so tired of not being understood

existing for a million years, used, killed or accused,

you don’t run with one earbud out, a knife in your pocket

mace on your keys, hands ready to claw and gouge,

you don’t wonder if the noise is there to rape or murder or both

no one calls you silly when you’re scared 

or pats you anywhere they can reach while you freeze

no one says I didn’t mean anything by it 

as their eyes rove up and down you like hands

 

good girl is different than good guy but both are lies

 

I remind myself you aren’t like that

and it’s not your fault you don’t understand

but after all the words I’ve spent telling you, all the breath I’ve lost, isn’t it?

 

 

as the fingers squeeze and

 

 

I feel something crack more than I hear it,

fireworks rope and dance and skitter along the backs of my eyelids

please, I think, if I’m going to die, please let him leave me somewhere I am found

please do not let my mother be left with a great unknowing

I am certain of her in a way I am certain of nothing else

she would look for me till the end of the world

 

 

your mom dies and

 

 

relief flows 

like the settling of snow

after pulling your car 

to the side of a jagged road

but the guilt,

the guilt is electric