Oil or Men

By David Taylor

The first white girl I had sex with
never accused me of rape,
though her father did.

Why else would his daughter
spread her legs for a black man.

One day he showed her
how to check the oil in her car
and slapped her mouth so hard
she cracked a right front tooth.

He said she never listened,
about oil or men—
and that she’d fuck any black boy
that gave her the time of day.

Her mother tried to cover it all up,
popped more pills to pretend
his fist was an empty palm,
that his knuckles were the rosary.

That night I said we could live somewhere
he didn’t have a map to,
but she told me I should leave instead.

Even today, I still want to kill him
for the pain that grew inside her,
even though I can no longer remember
what she looked like walking away.

David M. Taylor’s work has appeared in various magazines such as Albany Poets, Califragile, Misfit Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, and Trailer Park Quarterly. He was also a finalist for the 2017 Annie Menebroker Poetry Award, and his most recent poetry chapbook, Growing up Black, was published by CWP Collective Press.

Photo: Battleship – Abandoned 1970s Citroen DS sedan, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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