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Boyfriend, Long Dead

Patricia Young


You hear a lot about girls gang-raped
at parties, a lacrosse or maybe

a rugby team, punk misogynists
who assume the world's their big fat

oyster. Girl on her third Southern Comfort,
a cliché, the troop of crazed adolescents

traipsing behind her up the stairs
to someone's little sister's canopy bed,
and how could you not hear
Camille Paglia in the background,

her staccato rapid
You stupid stupid girl. And what about

those two, listening to Dark Side of the Moon
on the turntable beside his bed,

passing a bottle of wine back and forth
as though wine were just another

beverage, and then somehow they're
skin against skin and she's saying,

Let's do it, what's the deal, anyhow?
But then he isn't there, is somewhere

else in the room, pulling on jeans, No,
not like this,
guiding her

back into clothes, tying her shoes,
both of them stepping outside,

cold slap of air, weaving down the street,
and every time I think

about that boy, I want to thank him
for being who he was,

an ordinary kid, no feminist or saint,
thank him for refusing

that girl, just asking
for it, begging to be shucked.



Patricia Young's works copyright © to the author.


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