Hydrangea mass their heads of pale white
and lilac beneath the window, like girls
in dotted swiss lace communion veils
huddled in a circle, sharing secrets—

Too early before the age
of formal confession, I had a few
myself that I never could disclose
until much later, only as an adult

when finally I’d learned the vocabulary
for what was done to me. Don’t tell, the man
said, with his oily locks and oily fingers:
pinning my two wrists like stalks to the green.

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