Today's poem is by James Allen Hall

A Name I Could Not Say Aloud

One August night, a man will cook me dinner,
and rape me in his bed. Before that, water boils

on the stove, he plays his piano
shirtless in the living room.

I light the long-stemmed candles.
I wash the dishes while he showers.

the bedroom windows are not curtained.
Nothing makes them wince.

All the lights on. His chest tanned and hairy.
I won't say stop. I'll see a photo

of him, a boy really, and think cow-eyed,
smiling from the bookshelf,

a Stetson tipped toward me,
the heel of a hand on my chin,

his name harmless, almost
beautiful: Martin.

Copyright © 2013 James Allen Hall All rights reserved
from Fourteen Hills
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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