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Vassar by Gwenna Johnson

The smell of coffee takes me back 14 years to empty nights lying in my bed with stuffed animals and my father, hands wandering over and under my Land Before Time nightgown, stale breath on my neck, mouth pressed against my mouth, and how I would suck his tongue and swallow his coffee-spit so that in the morning there wouldn’t be any marks on the pillowcase, and my mother wouldn’t scold me for sucking my thumb, when really I was sucking worse things, and how I crossed the street and held his hand and knew the taste of his fingers in my mouth and the feel of them three painful inches inside my body, and how I loved him every day and hated myself every night, and tried to be what he wanted, and how one night he started to cry so I climbed on top of his dick and he slapped me and called me a whore and never looked me in the eyes again, and sent me off to Vassar where three years later I still get excited for parents weekend and pray and pray, and strip the bed and wait in laundered sheets for my father to come in the night.






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