The Day I Saw My Rapist at the Corner Texaco by Shawn Aveningo

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

I remember holding the fuel nozzle in my hand,
staring at him for what seemed an eternity.
I was bisected —
     half of me desperate
     to spray gasoline across the concrete divide
     and light a match,
while the other half
     wanted to peel away my skin
     to swap with another human to hide.
My babies —
     all three of them lined up in their car seats
     in the backseat of my Honda.
Two little girls peacefully asleep,
while their brother pointed his chubby finger
     at a ladybug on the windshield
     and laughed.

Shawn Aveningo is a globally published, award-winning poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes … especially red ones! She believes poetry, especially when read aloud, is the perfect literary art form for today’s fast-paced world due to its power to stir emotion in less than two minutes. Shawn’s poetry has appeared in over 60 literary journals, anthologies and e-zines and she has authored four solo collections. She’s given birth on two continents, and her three children make her an extremely proud “mama bear.” She shares the creative life, and business (, with her best friend & soul-mate, and they have recently made Portland, Oregon their home. More here.