Dead Bug

By Tiana Clark


Ok, I said it.


I was twelve. I was in the backseat

of a moving car. I had a crush.

I was silent, except for my mouth


chock-full of braces and rape.

I’ve been writing around the rim

of the word like the blunted tip


of a spent bullet. But, I said it.

I’m saying it now. I was twelve.

I was silent. I didn’t stop it, ok.


I had a crush and the mind of a child.

When I was a [      ], I spake as a

[       ], I understood as a [       ],


I thought as a [       ]: but when I became

[           ], I put away [              ] things.

I told you I had a crush. I’m telling


you I was crushed. I am crushing

the flood, overwhelming. What now?

There is a dead cockroach in the corner.


I won’t pick it up. I keep sweeping


the thing on the floor.


The poem first appeared and was originally published with Iron Horse Literary Review.

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash