Everybody thinks it’s all right,
because she was born bad,
if they tell themselves that enough times.
She changes before their eyes,
from a wide eyed child,
and a school tie her mother has to help her with,
to their evening entertainment,
because they talk a new image into their eyes,
they repeat it like a prayer,
predators chanting in a circle,
believing their magic is innocent.
They never ask her why,
she is near the night,
why she dares to venture into the darkness,
because they know the truth,
tarnishes their already jittering justification,
it doesn’t matter.
It never matters.
They are good men,
if they say they are good men.
She is a slut,
if they say she’s a slut.
She came to them,
even when they spent months,
laying out a line of pebbles and promises,
easing her down a perilous path,
letting her get lost,
drunk on the idea that someone gives a damn,
before they stole from her,
as she slept,
but it’s still her fault,
because they say it is.
The court will free the devil,
if he wears a nice suit,
and they will hang her,
with the skirt she wore,
and a map of all the places she went,
even though she had no sense of direction,
and nobody expects a poor,
helpless grown man,
to say no,
because he is a good man,
if he says he is,
but she was born bad,
no matter how many times she said no.