I Will Not by Vera Ignatowitsch

You were not there to watch when he

‘allegedly assaulted’ me

You point out facts that you distort.

My pants were tight. My skirt was short.

My perfume sucked the rapist in.

Expensive jewelry is a sin.

I had a drink; I smoked a joint.

“Those were advertisements.” You point

to my behavior, dress, and speech

as causes of this horrid breach

of all my rights. Your helping me

is nothing but a travesty.

How dare you heap me in disgrace?

He pulled a knife. He slashed my face.

He tore my body, beat me lame,

and now you won’t release his name?

Protect his rights, but shove your blame.

I will not wear your mask of shame.


Mother Kiss by Vera Ignatowitsch

At the door I look up

half a flight where she looms,

inviting me shockingly

to give her a kiss.


Astonished, I bound

up the steps for this thing

I long for, the velvety cheek

imprinted in baby time.


The kiss barely covers

a sniff when her hand

smashes into my head.

I fly back and down


half a flight, then a full one

down stairs to the basement,

bruised only, not broken

so no one will know.


No one ever knows.