POETRY
The Devil’s Fingers

spider up her thigh in the dimly lit room
held down, stared down
embers of the abyss snap around her

She is not given the choice of control
"Just don't take her cherry," says her uncle.
Evolution dictates the outcome -- 
as if she enjoyed the company.
Stung with guilt and shame the stranger
passes the refuse of his emotions by
finding blame in her soft peach
petal skin and budding nipples.

What does a 12-year-old girl know about
feeling so good and so bad all at once?
How does she regard herself after he laughs --
“she has a hot bottom” or “future slut”
(a punch line for a predator)?

”She’s trying to get attention,”
“A kid's word doesn't mean much,”
“She has quite an imagination,”
“It's not the first time.”

No, not the first time nor the last
Ignored, called a liar
parents yelled at her sadness
so she hid behind a smile.
Parents had high hopes
so she became only degreed-relative
then career-woman.

She knows the devil’s fingers can still
knife through the shell of skin she created
(to stay untouched, to keep them way),
until she can deconstruct the nightmares stored
behind her heavy curtain of memory. 

No longer a powerless child
     she pulls the drapery back,  
          ready to face her monsters.