Connecticut

by Samantha Kennedy

and the guy who raped me / left California /
moved all the way to Connecticut
afterwards / couldn’t deal with it / I guess
he deleted facebook / twitter / he got to start over /
he got a new job / lost touch with all
our mutuals / cut his curly hair / grew a beard /
he saw snow for the first time / woke early /
slept soundly / did all his dishes / folded his laundry /
‘got himself together’ / ‘made his family proud’ /
he felt entirely new after a while / and sometimes /
he even felt ok with himself / he rebuilt himself / he forgave himself
he fixed a broken chair in his apartment / he undid the damage /
drank black coffee / started to jog / took long deep breaths /
thought ‘ok, ok, not so bad’ / thought ‘I can do this’ /
he started going out / meeting people for coffee /
and beer / and only thought of me / once / or twice /
he fixed the leaky faucet / he called his mom back /
he found a routine / that actually worked /
he met a girl / who drew his profile / beside him in bed
she sketched his eyes / whiskers /
she turned the scar on his cheek into a dimple 
and she thought he was so handsome /
and he didn’t rape her / and he was proud of himself /
and he met more girls / and some of them reminded him / of me /
so he tried / to rewrite the story / by talking about me /
by saying my name / retelling only parts / the good jokes /
everything before / nothing after
and by convincing them / he convinced himself /
he was able to unwind the reel / and film again / tell it his way /
like characters in an old movie / walking backwards /
across a screen / out the door / falling in reverse
but all the actors have been dead / for years now

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