Imagine this – you’re laying down
Your voice is shot – unable to move or scream out.
You are muted.
He comes in again, flickering the lights on and off,
And it doesn’t matter that it’s 3 in the mor-
It’s 3 in the morning but you dare not
move or breathe.
God, no. You can’t breathe or else he’ll
think you were awake and smell your
tiny, pale hands and yell a
Monstrous roar demanding
you “turn around, close your eyes,
And face the wall.”
“Don’t move,” he’ll say and
You’ll wonder why.
You’re only eight – but already fragile, limp, numb.
You’re only eight…only eight.
But it doesn’t matter and it didn’t matter at
Any other age – either.
His voice, his footsteps, his presence
Make you quiver – makes you shake in silence.
But this time he thinks you’re asleep so
You let out a breath of relief
As soon as he walks out the door.
You think to yourself, “I’ve fooled him.”

The pounding of your heart subsides.
But the truth is you’re never asleep
You’re always awake.
Because it happens over and over again
As you imagine this-
you’re laying down
Your voice is shot – unable to move or scream out.
You are muted.
Dorene Fourar is a high school educator with a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Brownsville. She is a mother, lover, and friend. Her past times include dabbling in astrology, playing with her two children, learning about world cultures, and reading obituaries.

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