The Ark / kim dismont robinson

I never thought I’d be raped on New Year’s Day
Least of all by you

There’d only been one sparkly glass of wine
A sad offering to the gods of bacchanal, but
Entirely appropriate given our lengthy,
Weeks-long talk about me leaving
No one wants to dance to that tune on Old Year’s Night
Not even me

Afterwards, when you were calm and shamefaced,
I never told you how it hurt
I just woke up that morning like every day was after-rape Saturday
Grabbed the dogs and ran the whole way to Bailey’s Bay

My sweet little dog-familiar
Who you’d not grown to dislike—
Rather, you hated him immediately—
Briskly trotted beside me, tied with invisible string
And I don’t know if it was toad or some other poison
(I was too busy collecting my thoughts, which flew up
Like a flock of nervous birds every time I remembered
My no and muffled tears)
But my dog was sick—foaming, in fact
And I tried to flush the poison from his mouth
As I frantically paged the vet

Turns out the dog was fine, as was I
But neither of us now goes poking around
In places better left alone

I tolerated you for three more days
Cried when you dropped your ring on the dresser
With an air so casual one might have thought
You were removing it for one night only

It’s frightening to step back and see
The arc of our story and all its imperfections
It looks so sallow in the cold light of day
There was a time I believed in you, and in us
But I cannot drop anchor here

I cannot make a shipwreck of my life

•••

Kim Dismont Robinson is the Folklife Officer for the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs in Bermuda.  Her writing has been published in The Caribbean Writer, Anthurium, Sargasso, The Journal of West Indian Literature, I Wish I Could Tell You: Bermuda Anthology of Children and Young Adult Fiction and Bermuda Anthology of Poetry Vols. I and II. 

One comment

  1. Reply

    Wow, Kim, this is such a powerful poem, and so beautifully and thoughtfully written!

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