Love & Errors by Kimberly Dark

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


Love and Errors

I probably could’ve thrust
the stick into his belly to
scramble away, but for what?
More men in the next room.
I keep it by the bed since we
are waiting for the soldiers.
I woke before he was on me
and that’s also why I didn’t
use the stick; I saw his face.
He was not frightened, there
to do his job. He did not see
himself, but I saw him:
so young, my son’s age, no.
Younger than my children.

Some women fight, some beg
and then there is violence.
It’s not that I felt only love;
there was fear, but complex,
fear for both of us and I just
shook my head, no, no, no.
Do not do this thing to us.
Even if I could not be your
mother but especially because
I could, I shook my head, no.

And as though from a corner of
the room, though also still me
I watched him hit me on cue,
felt the strength in his shoulder,
the small bones in my neck
jostled as the muscles strained
to hold my head, lip bleeding,
swelling, I watched his method,
practiced, aloof yet angry son.

“Do not do this thing to us.”
I said as he unzipped his pants,
Penis dirty, bloody, flaking, who
knows what. I wanted to clean him,
foolish child, this is an error.

He took my wet eyes into his
cold eyes just briefly, then he
hit me again and the penis
went hard. It’s not personal,
the body knows what it
practices and my body crouched,
also a response to which he
was accustomed; the body folds
in danger and he had practiced
how to unfold such a body
for raping. And I heard myself
sobbing, yes, for both of us.

My son, your body is not
a weapon. Retrieve it and
hold it with some dignity.
It is as precious as
the body from which you came.


Kim Dark.jpg

Kimberly Dark is a writer, mother, performer and professor. She is the author of five award-winning solo performance scripts and her poetry and prose appear in a number of publications. For more than ten years, Kimberly has inspired audiences in fancy theatres, esteemed universities and fabulous festivals She tours widely in North America, Europe and Australia. The Salt Lake Tribune says "Dark doesn’t shy away from provocative, incendiary statements, but don’t expect a rant. Her shows, leavened with humor, are more likely to explore how small everyday moments can inform the arc of our lives." The High Plains Reader in Fargo ND says "Dark’s skill as a storyteller gets to your heart by exposing hers."