Pantoum for the Broken

Toi Derricotte

BPR 46 | 2019

How many of us were fingered?
A soft thing with a hole in it,
a thing that won’t tell, that can’t.
I forget how many times I was broken,

a soft thing with a hole in it.
Some remember, grateful it wasn’t worse;
I forget how many times I was broken.
Someone faceless rolled on me like a horse.

Some remember, grateful it wasn’t worse.
Some forget but their bodies do inexplicable things.
Someone faceless rolled on me like a horse.
Sleepwalking, I go back to where it happens.

Some forget but their bodies do inexplicable things.
We don’t know when or why or who broke in.
Sleepwalking, we go back to where it happens.
Not wanting to go back, we make it happen.

If we escaped, will we escape again?
I leapt from my body like a burning thing.
Not wanting to go back, I make it happen
Until I hold the broken one, hold her and sing.