September 16, 2019

Kate Gale


He likes me to sit on his lap.
Sit on his lap.

I squirm around. He likes it. He likes to spank me.
Let him spank you.

He likes it when I do cartwheels.
Do cartwheels in your white dress with strawberries.

In the truck he puts his hand on my knee.
He’s giving you a ride to work? Shut up.

He puts his hand under my dress. I hate waitressing.
Lots of girls have worse. Judy’s been fucked by her uncle.
Now that’s bad.

He pinches my butt and puts his fingers in my panties.
Be grateful you have a job.

I’m going to college.
You think things are better in college? Trust me,
elbow patches instead of coveralls.

The professor put his tongue in my mouth.
Quit complaining.

The professor pulled up my skirt. He had me bending over the desk.
It could be worse.

How could it be worse?
He could be raping you.

How is he not raping me?
Seriously? Are you asking me this? You leaned over the desk.

Were you raped?
Honey, everyone’s been raped. Everyone’s been felt up. Everyone’s had their ass pinched. Everyone’s had some man do them when they weren’t into it. Everyone’s been fucked in their sleep. Everyone’s had a man look at them like they’re an animal. And then when you get old, like me, you dream of being screwed. Because no one wants you up any more. No one whistles or feels you up, no one taps on your window at night. No one taps.

I’ve met a guy, and he treats me nice.
Sounds boring. But good for you if you’re into that sort of thing.

He’s a sweetheart.
Make sure he isn’t into porn. Most guys who seem nice are into porn.

He isn’t into porn. He’s into me.

We’re getting married.
Good for you.

The money’s tight; the kids need stuff.
Get another job.

And he doesn’t want sex any more. He just watches porn.
Blow your boss. Get a raise.

Are you crazy?
Men help girls they’re blowing.

I got the raise. It wasn’t too bad. It’s just once a week. And he doesn’t even smell.
Does your husband smell?

A bit. Sometimes. He sweats.
Does your husband know?

Of course not.
Good then. That worked out great.

I’m going to be vice president.
What did that cost you?

I’ve never had to go that far. In the old days it was all about blowjobs.

I’m taking care of my family.
Good for you.

I’m still having sex with Paul. When he wants to.
It would be silly not to.

When does it stop?
Girls stay better looking longer now. It used to be thirty. Now it’s fifty.

I’m nearly there now.
You’re nearly where?

The safe zone. The hands-free zone.
The happily ever after zone. You’re going to live happily ever after.

from Rattle #64, Summer 2019


Kate Gale: “I’m not wild about confession, which is why I don’t go to therapy. That and I learned early not to trust people. Which is why, it’s strange that writing poetry is so liberating. It’s the ballet of language, but for me, it’s a way of scrambling through the dark, the fierce underground wail of life at the bottom of the well which allows me to see the flowers growing there and the circle of light.” (web)

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October 16, 2008

Kate Gale


It didn’t take even a drink to wet open her.
Untie her face so words stepped in.

Talc all over the floor of Grandmother’s kitchen.
It’s what her grandmother wore to bed.

Grandpa loved it. You mixed flour, salt,
baking powder, made biscuits.

Then tea. It was while they were hot,
buttery that the unlacing began.

Usually she preferred women
who would not bruise open her.

Men. Clumsy hands. Grunts. A face looming
over hers twisted into an indecent mask of pleasure.

The face heavy-lidded almost angry
with ecstasy. She wanted safe.

Her girls weren’t boot laced, all teeth and appendages,
leathered like the smart things in bars.

Hers were fresh open, limp legged.
Now she, astride this male had to answer

his groans with her own, bite back.
She tore along his belly like she never

dared to tear the fevered females in dark on satin.
Out loud she screamed. Certainly the curtains were open.

Perhaps they weren’t human any more.
Who knows if she ever was?

from Rattle #26, Winter 2006

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