Writing with Invisible Ink

Now that I have seen the diamondback rattler in the domain of children I see him again everywhere–the darkness notched between sidings and foundations, lassoed water hoses resting in the sun, tree branches in the grass, all become the skin and flesh and memory of the foolish man who held just the severed head of his deadly foe too close to human skin.

We keep the most dangerous pets coiled in emptied potato salad containers, hastily labeled with words too awful to write down in anything but

Invisible ink.

Anger in the roses

your birthday falls

between the Ides of February and

pruning day for roses

when the master gardener

makes them sound so alive, so fragile, so human

the way you once were

Boy without words for the monsters

we all become without the Antidote 

without the blood transfusion 

without the interventionist God

Who somehow, ineluctably abides

this fallen terrible

world where children, babies even

grow up thinking both antichrist and apocalypse are normal

Whole time grown ups

Just shout the most destructive platitudes

into the shotgun corridor of

This unbearable


Reflect the sky 

some things remain dark

Obsidian dark

No matter how much you try to put distance between

The two of us

The video footage cannot, will not excise your presence

Obsidian dark

Is not your chicken-scratch handwriting

The horrible story I made you write down

Or the things you left out…

That so many people helped to…diminish

None more than you

The damage which will always be

dead dog on my chest

Ghosts of dogs should haunt us both

But let yours bark incessantly outside the grainy film of your transgressions

While mine 

Returns whole, resurrected even,

To the cement driveway by the old house where the children played with the water hose and the blue plastic wading pool 


They fill the screen with joy

For a moment even you could see

The way the thinnest layer of water poured out on rough cement

Reflects the sky

Reflects the light from the endless sky

Reflects the glory of this endless day we

…walk toward the sun, my one-time-child

Before the night 

Falls forever

The Symbols of a Broken Mind

He used structures, barriers, doorways, linens, athletic equipment to hide his aggressions.

And lies. So many lies.

This comes back to haunt me. I try to keep it in a mental suitcase because my grief over his aggression is still so intense.

Last night I had a dream that I saw a giant tire being pulled on a barge in front of me. I knew exactly what it meant.

I used to take children to play tennis. Right next to the tennis courts the football team had giant tires they used for strength training.

Charles used the tires to hide his broken actions, distorting play schema with devastating effect.

The elliptical nature of my description is for you, not me. I know too well what he did to hurt people with ordinary things.

I wish there was closure. I don’t really believe in it. Instead I think my unconscious mind will continue to bring to the fore these devastating symbols of lost innocence.

Barriers–he uses them to deceive and harm children, yet has no legal obstacle, tag or minder alerting others to his past.

It is one thing to not know how a predator isolates and subdues his prey. It is another entirely to know, and simply look away.

What Good Does It Do?

There are only a couple people I have ever met who I have wanted to actually kick.

I say a couple in case I am missing someone.

The one person I know I wanted to kick was my adopted son after I found out he had molested children.

We took him in.

We cared for him.

He violated children.

How do you get past that?

You don’t.

You go through it, and it changes you.

I did not kick him. No one did. In fact, very, very, few people confronted him at all.

It is hard to confront evil.

The other day I was standing in a beautiful place surrounded by people I admired, listening to the blast of a radio station–the foulest, most misogynistic rap I have ever heard.

How could someone write, “sing,” produce, edit, air, or listen to such explicit “music?”

Outside of hell. Each “song” seemed to be reminiscent of the soundtrack of hell.

Literal hell.

I was once chided for objecting to a hip-hop song with lyrics about infanticide- my fault for listening to the words in the first place?

As though it were a moral ideal to simply avoid the existence of evil.

I write all of this because it is worth pondering what exactly Jay-Z did to incite his sister-in-law’s wrath.

I have lots of family members who are real weenies but I don’t want to kick them.

You want to kick someone when they really hurt someone you love.

Do you love Adrianna Waller? Do you even know her story?

Can you face the pain she faced alone? A helpless baby.

Can you face the man who tortured her to death? Or the inevitable waves of pain, grief, and anger his actions unleashed in the lives of every single person who had to live past his aggression?

Can you reckon with his unrepentant soul?

Can you factor in the role of pornography in his premeditated rape of a baby? Or the pain and confusion of her agonizing death?

I cannot.

For the first month after I found out that my adopted son had molested children I cried. I yelled, ranted, grieved.

I will never even be able to reckon with his unrepentant soul.

And so far, his victims have survived his evil–scarred but whole. Lonely and aggrieved, but alive.

If we cannot face evil, how can we begin to overcome it?

And if we do not overcome it: what good do we do?