Katie Manning


I was five
when I learned
about sex
because my
17-year-old aunt
was pregnant.
You saw Steve
naked? I asked
my aunt in front
of her mother
over a bowl
of Cocoa Krispies,
as if nudity
was the worst of it.

But I believed in Santa
until I was seven.
Two whole years
of knowing exactly
what to fear
a strange man
could do
in a dark house
at midnight
to a girl
who was not
always nice.

Katie Manning is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman (Point Loma Press, 2013). She has received The Nassau Review Author Award for Poetry, and her poems have been published in Fairy Tale Review, New Letters, PANK, Poet Lore, So to Speak, and many other journals and anthologies. She lives in San Diego, where she collects books, tea, board games, and sea shells. Find her online at www.katiemanningpoet.com.

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