sisyphus doubts rolling the boulder in the first place (an effort in self-validation) By Haley Clapp

sisyphus doubts rolling the boulder in the first place (an effort in self-validation)

I.

I was an age I don’t remember/you were a little
older/it’s hard to call someone predator/when
they’re under ten/years older I remember/how
Bambi’s mom bleeds offscreen/how I’m crying
on this beanbag/how I’m here so often I know
when to go home/& uncross my knees to stand
4 feet (and a half!) like the marks on my wall but
do you wanna see something?/blocking the door
you darken the path/you lifting the t-shirt/beaming
like banner-waving/like conquest/like pride
& it’s heavy/weighing white cotton/don’t know
what it is but I know/to cry and flee/home to
my mommy & sister/& remember years later

(this memory doesn’t flash/in my mind when I-T
happens but I remember it like it did/at least
now I remember it/as if I had remembered then)

II.

the dark/dark/darker/in the basement you
hair greasy one-eyed/like I liked it I liked
when we hummed & hid/from my parents
away from my dad/then ??? you moving
my head to go down head to head with
pressure & whispering/blank blank blank
why not why not? blank blank/complicit I
was complicit when you/as if I myself had
bowed my head/yawned it open cavernous
in my memory except/for dead technicolor
tv screen panic/as my lips apart but no/no
longer a part of/me down down up down
like you said/or you don’t say you don’t
speak at all I have hollowed myself first
time I said no but I didn’t say no I didn’t
want my dad to ever know/and you don’t
remember this but I do remember this
in the dark/dark/darker/in the basement

By Haley Clapp

Biography:

Haley Clapp is a recent Indiana University Bloomington graduate and fledgling queer poet who will be attending King’s College London in the fall for her MA in Critical Methodologies. She has served on the Editorial Board of various IU publications, including LABYRINTH and The Undergraduate Scholar. She loves sad songs and horror movies and hopes to end up somewhere in the world between literature/art and academia.

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