Parking Lot Rocks

by Genevieve N. Williams
                After Yusef Komunyakaa
I am four, standing in front of
the corduroy couch in our attic apartment.
The foam stinks.
I’ve just cut the strings
from the paws of my stuffed collie.
I’m sorry, I say to no one. I’m sorry.
A spider plant spills its babies
from the ceiling.
I think I might sit on one.
We keep our Christmas tree up 
because it’s cozy. Sometimes, I like to slide 
on newspapers Mama’s scared to throw away.
I know what rape is. Not because
somebody hurt me. Because when 
Daddy gets sad and yells,
Mama cries into her knees 
and tells me, He’s not really mad 
at me. It’s his father.
I like to go outside while my parents talk 
about how they were hurt as kids. 
I hold the parking lot rocks in my hands, 
and maybe I put one in my mouth.
It tastes like a kidney. 
It doesn’t chip my teeth.