Some girls said Albuquerque High boys kissed better and when the captain of the downtown football team asked me out I trembled yes beneath anxious folds of Dotted Swiss. When one running-back hand tore at my blouse and the other charged between my legs I cried for him to stop and to the couple in front for help. Their moans sounded light years away. He laughed, pried deeper, at ease with male right. Through the triangle of window a splash of stars seemed distant and pale. I took remembered advice and brought my knee up fast and sharp to his groin. He let go and I pushed the door, leapt free and ran down a rocky road ‘til I hit pavement and kept on running afraid he might follow. But I was alone that night flying toward city lights panting and crying slowing to walk then running again until my house appeared. Years later I could say the word rape —what the high school football star did to me that night— know he didn’t follow because it wasn’t me he wanted, only conquest there on that car seat in the presence of buddies, only the ancient ritual of male entitlement: another notch on the stock of his teenage gun.
My daughter, the one learning English Literature, has to write an essay on a 20th Century poet.
She selected Margaret Randall. She lived in Latin America (Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua) from 1961 to 1984. When she came home, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered her deported:
the only case of an American poet forbidden to return home. In Mexico she edited a leftist literary magazine, el Corno Emplumado, which I read..
Thus I got to read the above poem and re-publish it here.