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Julianna May

Bulldoze the church where I grew up.

The sanctuary where

parents told me

“I’m so glad you’re friends with my son

and daughter. Now

they’ll be better children.”

Bulldoze the classroom where

the boy and I sat inattentively,

under the eerie ticking

of the room’s ghost clock,

pressing fingertips against metal

hexagons in the gray-blue chair

till our white-pink flesh

was raised in memory

and I wished he would kiss me.

Bulldoze the bathroom I ran to

to escape boys’ itching fingers

at my sides;

where I went to cry;

where others went to make out.

Bulldoze my father’s office,

he scoured the Bible

and internet for dirty whores

to ridicule at the pulpit,

and masturbate to in private.

Bulldoze the fellowship hall

where only judgements, hatred,

and uniformed laughter fellowshipped.

Where my hands got slapped

for knowing all the answers

and correcting an adult.

Where loving thy neighbor

were words chewed, spat,

undigested as cow cud.

Bulldoze the footprints of the child molester,

welcomed in those hallowed halls,

a Lot to his daughters,

accepted by the pastor

while his victim, deemed as

deceiving as Jacob, was cast aside.

Tear up the carpet.

Rip up the floorboards

like Adam’s ribs.

Disembowel the mildewed

basement cemetery.

Let all the ghosts run free

Julianna May (she/her) is a 12th grade English teacher, dog mom, and part-time softball coach. She has been previously published in Crepe & Penn, Nightingale and Sparrow, and Emerge Literary Journal. You can find her on twitter: @JuliannaMay1216

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