Regina Cherry

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 104 in 2001.

What eyes fall on
when moving a midnight-blue
covered bed to photograph
a painting on a wall in a
very proper room with a personal
aesthetic, art and artifacts :
a short footlong snake of
multistranded webweave enclosed
clean cut heavy copper cable a
large synthetic cushion enclosed
in washable gray fabric - a small
black telephone ;

what my father left under his bed for
his forteen year old daughter to find -
ordered to clean the house -
mountains of dirty stuck together
tissues and mailorder catalogues
for sex appliances and
fanciful Japanese ticklers ;

and late one night early that morning
the illuminated glass livingroom doors
to be opened to turn out the lights
and shut the radio for her assumed
sleeping father only to find him sitting
on the couch - large mirror in left hand
his prick in the other
for her eyes only
he had heard her enter
a cowardly act at seduction?
their gaze met in the mirror ;

the bright-red multiple imprints
of his bare hand left
on the bottom's skin of his
eighteen year old daughter burnt
in for nearly two weeks after
jealous rage over missed jus
primae noxis - scenes straight from
the king, the princess & the scullery maid

skin forgets the pain of violation
eyes and a pair of tympanums
stay the cage echoing
visual and verbal abuse