Product of Hope

There something about New Lots Avenue that
Reminds my heart what it feels like to be Pearl Harbor
Peverted men love to tell me im as hot as a cannon bull

I blame myself
Because I was curious
Because I wanted to take the train all by myself
Because my mother was out the country
Because my sister didn’t say no
Because I blame me
Because no one thinks it affected me
Because it did
Because it does
Because I don’t visit East New York as much as I used to

Because I was in 5th grade
Because I had a test that day
Because I promised Ms. Castor I wouldn’t be late
Because I stop taking the train for 3 years
Because those wore my favorite Baby Phat jeans
Because every time I look at my hometown
All I see is red and blue and yellow
Because he had on a red, blue, and yellow fannel button up

Because all I hear is slamming doors
Please stand clear of the closing
This is a New Lots bound 3 train
We became the rubbers in the middle of those doors
I felt so trapped and open all at the same time
Legs like broken hinges off of a two years old closet where she sweared that was where the boogy man hide out
I was 13 still having nightmares

Because he said nothing
Becuase he was silent
Because he got off at Pennsylvania Avenue
I had two stops to think about what the hell that done just happened to me
Because my grandmother lives on Pennsylvania Avenue
Because I don’t visit my grandmother like how I used to
Because every time I look at her
I can see leaves falling in the retinas in of her eyes
I have fallen beyond woman
London be it victim

Because London done left her body so many years ago
Because she be it sexually abused
Because his father was a cherry picker and he was just taking on the family business
Becuase i have nerve to try and justify what he did
Because im illiterate to the evil of man

Because preverted men would always tell me i was sweet and ripe
Like pineapples from Hawaii
I think that’s why New Lots Avenue has this way of making my heart feel like Pearl Harbor
Because It was only us two in train cart 422675
Because we sat at different sides
Because they contiously asked me why didn’t i screamed or yelled
Because i was slient

Because he stood behind me like spiders
All hairs up
I could feel everything crawling
Shoulders in
Head down
Hunch back
I stood like position
Like his favorite
Like victim

Because it was the length of my remote control
And width of wrist
Because I don’t visit East New York as much as I used to
Because every time I’m near any kind of testosterone
All I am capable of seeing is a humpty dumpties of men falling and coming off the walls of my insides

Because It was sunny that day
Because he breathed over my shoulders like heat waves
Long, heavy and hot

Mom I’m sorry
Im sorry for being the 1st child that you will never understand
I’m sorry of the prescient
I’m sorry for the hospital
I’m sorry for the report

But most of all sorry to the next person I love
Forgive me if I cannot love you correctly
But I’m just not brave enough to visit the last cart of that three train
and get the three quarters of my heart back

and East New York
I’m sorry, I never meant to neglect you
But you now begin to smell like him
And every time you talk
all I hear is the echoes of victims
Slap boxing on the rim of patience
I’m sorry

the days have been long
and the nights ate even longer
cherry picker if i ever see you again
i want you to know
i forgive you

Because forgiving you is the first step to forgiving me
Because Lodon im sorry

Maurisa Fraser
Age 17, Grade 12
Bayard Rustin Educational Complex
Gold Key

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