Cauchemar

As a kid, I suffered from stool and urine incontinence

Not the safe in-your-home-at-night-with-your-auntie-

Willing-to-help-you-get-cleaned-up

But the traumatic during-daylight-in-school-at-church one

The cause for such release was always the same: FEAR

It chewed up my heart

And then shamed me

I still recall that afternoon when father had his belt out

Ready to give me the punishment I deserved for not listening

I saw the belt and urine ran down to make a pool at my feet

All warm and yellow like the sun outside

Disgusted my father called out:

Woman, come take care of your child

Nowadays fear doesn’t shake me loose like that

We both stay away from one another

Giving each other room to breathe

We might bump into each other in the streets

But it’s not like we hang out or anything

Nowadays I refuse her kiss

Because her tongue sucks the life out of you

Leaving you wide open

For the world to trample in

Nowadays I get nightmares

Of a child drowning in a pool of urine

And his mother’s arms can’t pull him out

No matter how hard she tries

That’s when I wake up in sweat

And then go to the bathroom

Relieved it was just a dream.

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