“The Detective Asks Me What He Said” by Shoshauna Shy

Shoshauna Shy


He’d pinch the breath
from my lungs
with two fingers
if I tried to scream.
That’s what he said.
Said he’d been laid
more times than he could count
but he had never surprised
a woman in her sleep before.
I was his first.
He said that.
As if I should be honored
I was chosen out of all
the fillies in first floor apartments
with their windows lifted
to let out the heat.
As if to have him pinning
my shoulders to the mattress
was a privilege.
As if I should be patient
since he was a virgin of sorts
and it was up to me
to make this the experience
he had always wanted.
As if I ought to understand
I’d be the one to whom
he’d measure all the rest
which was a big responsibility
if I stopped to think about it.
He said that.

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003

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