The Oxford Unabridged
was how I learned the word fellatio,
though I paused to look up orgasm
and my understanding of male genitals was abstract
at best. I had read the word fellatio in the newspaper,
Local section, in a story
about three runaways, two boys and a girl.
A man held them in a cabin
for two weeks. He raped the girl
and forced the boys to perform fellatio on him
repeatedly. I didn’t have to look up rape—
I’d known that word since fourth grade
when Takeisha told me
that her uncle took off his pants
when he babysat and we told
our teacher. But I read
the definition of fellatio
and I considered what I knew
The man picked up the kids
hitching on the freeway
and said he’d take them as far
as Enumclaw. The girl
gave her testimony yesterday,
which sounded strange when I read it
because in our church,
testimony was when we all stood up
to bear witness of Christ
on the first Sunday, in lieu of a sermon.
The article said the girl had a glass eye.
The man stabbed out her real one
when she tried to escape. The man
told her: I will not kill you. I will
take some things away.