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It started just like any other Friday night at the bar – long stares over
a line of half-empty glasses, quick glances through clouds of swirling smoke
made by cigarettes once lit and now forgotten.


I can feel the hairs on my arm raising as I watch him glide toward
me. My body shudders and tenses as he touches my shoulder and screams
his name into my ear, trying to make sure he’s heard over the thumping
bass on the dance floor.


Let’s go somewhere, and he takes me
by the hand, pulling me through the crowds of people and out the back door.
I stumble over the single concrete step and my foot lands
in a puddle similar to the ones beneath the glasses on the bar.


He shoves me against the dumpster, the back of my head hitting the rim.
He puts his mouth to mine, his lips salty, his tongue ravenous.
And then I’m on the ground, a small heap of garbage bags to cushion my fall.


He was on top of me, then inside me.
I didn’t feel it as he forced his
way in; I was already numb from Happy Hour.
I woke up cold and alone, except for the pounding
in my head.


Now as I lay here, my feet in the cold stirrups, my legs spread apart
as I’m put on display, that numbness is back. I can’t
feel what the doctor is doing as he says Now take a deep breath,
you might feel some pressure.


And as the blood ran from between my legs,
I wondered if it would have been a boy
or a girl.