» Poetry

Full Moon to Monday

College cracked the fantasy wide

open. All our Pretty​ Woman​ dreams

flatlining in the bottom of some frat guy’s

basement. Memories of the “talk” and how

she left out the part about surgery. The stitching

and staining and then, there’s recovery.


Came home for break still soaking through

the gauze of this girlhood and all our moms

could tell. But no one spoke the truth.

That you can be six shots in and his hands

won’t reek of meat. That his toothy grin won’t

be dripping with blood and shit. All the songs

he’ll play in the dark corner or the back seat

of his car will be foreshadowing. But you won’t

remember a thing. You won’t ever know it


happened. Cause molly is the new pick-up line

and he’s got those for days. Nothing mom said

about chivalry and not putting out on the first

date prepared you for date rape drugs and scalding

hot showers to rinse the blood off.


Vanishing after you texted and told him

you were pregnant, and the shame slut-walked

all over Facebook. That innocence we knew is gone

like hope the RA isn’t hooking up with freshmen.


Somewhere between t-ball and toga parties

the rules changed from checking yes, no,

maybe, to him marking his criminal territory.

At least then you had the right to choose


or feel like you had options. But here, now,

you’re left to break and mend, stitch the wounds

to not spill the secrets, sober your sorrows

and be back before Monday’s 8 a.m. exam.


Khalisa Rae

Khalisa Rae is a poet and journalist in Durham, NC, and author of the chapbook Real Girls Have Real Problems. Her poetry can be seen in Crab Fat, Damaged Goods, Hellebore, Terse, Sundog Lit, PANK, Tishman Review, Occulum, and Obsidian, among others. She is the winner of the Bright Wings Poetry contest, the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, the White Stag Publishing Contest, among others. Currently, she serves as Managing Equity Editor at Carve Magazine and Writing Center Director at Shaw University. Her debut collection, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press in April 2021, and her poetry and art collection, Unlearning Eden, is forthcoming from White Stag Publishing in Summer 2021