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From Raquel Vasquez Gilliland:

August 17, 2017
Then there’s me at eighteen, walking to
the grocery store in Kansas City for
navel oranges. A man grabbed my
shoulder and waist, pressed his erection
into my hip. My spine became stone and
stayed that way for so long I couldn’t
cry or it would shatter.

Now I wonder if this man was ever sweet.
Did he hug his mother with the same body
he assaulted me with. Did he nurse while
looking at her as though she were all
that’s good and wonderful in this universe?

As I watch footage of men whose faces
curl in smiles at violence, who believe
power can only come from subjugation,
I feel desperate.

How do I get my baby to remember his
sweetness. How do I get my baby to remember
his sweetness?

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