at night, I found most of my pleasure. though fearful of her shade, dusk enveloped me and molded me into something different. a curious explorer. at six years old, I touched myself to a tingling sensation that was indescribable and secret. it became an obsession to see how far I could push myself to brink. not knowing there was a completion, I walked the edge and stopped. stopped before I came.
I also walked the corridor alone, shaking, sometime past midnight. would turn my attention to a certain finger reaching across the wall and scream. wake the whole house. I wore blue footie pajamas, carried a security blanket and sucked my thumb for comfort. I often left the bedroom, panicked and drawn to some corner to stare. watch a passing headlight reveal a plant. or the quiet of the court kept me frozen in trance. some veiled thing looming near the mirror bowing to me and I swear it touched my shoulder. could feel the whoosh of her claws graze my neck. my brother said the worst thing about me was that shrill fucking scream. you always give it away.
learned to bring myself to cliffs.
learned to walk the dark in terror.
learned to shut my teeth so tight I wore the
pearl white enamel to grit.
learned to moan in silence.
learned to shriek so loudly no one rested
in my fits.
these things are important developments
to nail before menarche.
before we learn to get it right, we learn to shake
our bodies like
starving little kittens,
face up to the eye dropper
of milk, thankful
for the pity.