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2nd and Gregory

I dread 2nd and Gregory to this day.

I was born into a poor family:
dad the drunkard,
mom the meth addict,
brother abusive,
and sister wrist slitter,
in ’84.

Mealtime portions: measly.
The house’s fragmented windows,
chipping paint
and carpet, ash stained beyond cleaning,
forced me to attempt an escape
several times.
It’s a wonder we had a house at all!
I was the only one who worked.

From 10:00 until 7:00
in the dead of winter I used to stand
in clothes so thin
I was better off not even wearing them.
In ’97 I was too young to work
But I wasn’t too young for the men-
and I admit, some attractive-
who would pull up to
2nd and Gregory.
I just crawled in the backseat,
assumed the position,
and took my beating
for not being born to the right family,
…… corner…

I can’t look at that sign
marking the corner
without thinking of
crotch after crotch
until it was etched in my brain
that the male genitalia
was the epiphany of evil.
I have to turn my head.

I dread 2nd and Gregory to this day.