It was the summer after Ted Bundy was executed,
but bodies kept disappearing. My dad called my grandmother,
asked her to keep us indoors. My dad called and I sat waiting

on the couch for Nana to hand me the phone. I was seven
when every room in America became trained to watch death
on their TV sets, frozen snapshots of mutilated bodies,

as if those bodies were a studio pose. It was the summer
I learned it wasn't just the ten-dollar whores trolling
behind my school who had it coming. My dad called my

grandmother and said Jacksonville, Florida was unsafe. I listened
while they argued; I sat on the couch. Later my sister and I would
drink beer until our heads spinned, but now she was out

in the back cutting the heads off her dolls and hiding
them in the dirt. The TV reported that a 10-year-old boy
raped by his dad would not make it. The summer our

local reporter looked so helpless, as if trying to
push back the weather, she asked everyone to "just calm down."
It was the summer I let the man take a whole roll of film.

Me in my polka-dotted bathing suit. I wanted to give him
something back. He fed me popsicle after popsicle, let me devour
all the red ones until my mouth turned raw and slaughtered.

He let me leave whenever I wanted, and I always ran
all the way home. Always entered through the door out of breath
or filled with terror, started to lock the door to my bedroom

to keep out my sister who started to stare empty at me while I slept.
It was the summer after my father called and said he wouldn't be home
for awhile. How much he loved us. How everything was going to be OK.

Tristan Silverman has quickly become one of the country's foremost emerging performance poets. She recently placed 7th overall in the nation at the 2010 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Trained as a documentary filmmaker, screenwriter, and novelist, Tristan's work addresses the humanness of flaw, the fluidity of identity, and the reality of coming of age disabled, queer and American. Tristan is the 2010 Chicago's Women Slam Champion, was the winner of the Guild Poetry Complex's 2010 17th annual Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Competition and has represented the city of Chicago on two National Poetry Slam teams, both were semi-finalist teams. For more information, visit her website at:

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761