If I Ever Liked The Night

by H. E. Casson
(CW: Sexual assault, child abuse, pregnancy)

If I ever liked the night
If it ever liked me back
That was so very long ago
So long ago
In fact
It may have been
Inside the womb
Ripe with the smell
I remember it well
Of his cigarettes
And her ice cream cones
The sound of their fights
The frenzied tones
Through the thin skin walls
I remember it all

If I ever liked the dark
With the sparklers
In the park
Enough, ablaze
To scare away
The nighttime
To convince the day
To stay (which was impossible)
At a festival in the early fall

If I ever liked the moon
When he came into my room
Like the fights
Inside the womb
An exploration of my
Skin
Thin, like hers
Afraid, like him

Originally published in Fireweed.

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