A POEM BY MONICA ARSENAULT
I dreamt that we were away in beautiful paradise.
I dreamt that we were sleeping under the moonlight.
No sounds but the crickets.
Just fireflies, stars, and moonlight.
The Earth. It was God’s gift to us. Our beauty as women celebrated in the birth of creation. We, as women, the pinnacle of creation. The moment She knew Earth was finished. We would be okay. When woman was created.
But then something happened.
There was a man.
Invaded our space.
Invaded the earth, invaded my thoughts.
Brought artificial light into our haven of natural beauty.
He came into the room and stroked your hair.
How did he know we were in there?
As you shook and sobbed aching in my arms, I held you and he stroked your hair.
His eyes locked on mine the whole time. He took pleasure from the terror in them and smiled as he smelled your hair.
I had no voice.
My words stuck in my throat, but trust me when I tell you that from the moment he walked in I said “no” “nononono” But the words could not escape.
Finally, an agonizing scream:
I opened my eyes and he disappeared. All I could hear was my breath.
I looked around and I was not with you. You were not cradled in my arms, your tears had not stained my shirt, and I was back in Brooklyn.
But the tears on my face were real.
Even if you weren’t
Even if the man wasn’t
My tears were real.
- 2019 -