• Poetry & Prose


Annette Kathryn Konoske-Graf
School of International and Public Affairs

Girls night plus one,

Burgeoning adolescences in jean shorts,

And the smiling fiancé of Monica's older sister,

California hugs and margaritas.


I was there, and then I wasn't.

A memory:

Pink shards of naivete,

Decorate a bathroom wall.


I couldn't move.

"You like that, don't you."

While I lay there, immobile, 

Imagining I'm with my boyfriend.


Later, a sudden awakening at dawn.

I call two friends:

"You must have imagined it," they say,

"Are you really sure?"


I tell my parents,

Who are the most respectful.

"What do you want to do?" they say,

Secretly disappointed that I showered. 


I call Monica, who tells me,

"I think he did the same thing to me

The night of senior prom."

We hug on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific.


When her sister confronts him,

He denies it, "The bitch lies!"

And I wonder, "Did I imagine it?"

Until he promises to never do it again.


My friend's sister is now married,

To a different man.

Happy, with two children.

I still dream about not being able to run.


Respect of space, of mind, of body,

Respect of trust, of vulnerability, of youth,

I needed from my friends,

just as much as I needed from him.


His name was Jeff.