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Portrait of a Young Girl Raped at a Suburban Party (Brian Patten)

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And after this quick bash in the dark

You will rise and go

Thinking of how empty you have grown

And of whether all the evening’s care in front of mirrors

And the younger boys disowned

Led simply to this.

Confined to what you are expected to be

By what you are

Out in the frozen garden

You shiver and vomit –

Frightened, drunk among trees,

You wonder at how those acts that called for tenderness

Were far from tender.

Now you have left your titterings about love

And your childishness behind you

Yet still far from being old

You spew up among flowers

And in the warm stale rooms

The party continues.

It seems you saw some use in moving away

From that group of drunken lives

Yet already ten minutes pregnant

In twenty thousand you might remember

This party

This dull Saturday night

When planets rolled out of your eyes

And splashed down in suburban grasses.