(Part of a new series of poems about people whom I have met, who profoundly moved me).
They said
no it’s not a person, it’s a trash bag, or wad of clothing
as I turned the car around
knowing it was a girl, curled into herself
it was for her, the end of a long night
for me, an early morning drive
into rising sun
indigo girl
her limbs thin enough, to resemble twigs
hair colored black, face still-water of a child
she waved us off
no, no, no, I’m fine here
in the fetal position, on the cement
lying by the side of road exhaust
as predator number 10, idles his car and asks
do you want me to take you home
I press myself to the window glass
no, don’t get in the car!
he looks angry when she says
I’m just taking a nap, goodnight
his lust drives off, leaving fuel staining like road kill
I wonder
what he would have done if
all 90 pounds of her, in tiny shorts and torn top
had accepted his bearly, concealed hunger
how many predators comb
early morning side walks, hoping
to pick up lost girls?
she’s got sense and she also, doesn’t know
but I do
I was her once
crawling out of an abandoned warehouse
knife wounds, waltzing on my throat
cold semen in my belly
clawmarks designating, my survival
the car that stopped then
a light in darkness
they took me away, from near death
when so easily
I could have been picked up, a second time
a third,
by hands with bad intention
when you are fallen
people often crowd in, to help you
fall again
like wolves who smell
the coming of blood and
vulnerabilities, we think we hide
I told her
don’t get into a car with a lone man, or group of men
they may not show their fangs but
you are a little piece of goodness
sometimes people who prowl, want to hurt
that shining within you
we drove
she was looking out the window
with her unslept eyes and the residue of last night
still high on her pain
and for the first time in my life
I no longer felt a victim
but one of the imaginary horses, I used to ride
speeding away from slick, sales-man, cough
of curb-side prowler
I wanted to make her better
but sometimes you can only
patch and release
to maybe nothing safer than hope
with a few words
wishing, that when she’s sober
waking without assault
she remembers
you were her once
and you got out