At the Girl Scout Meeting
Krista M. Goley
in the grade school cafeteria
though all of us girls are having a great time
Katie, Christina and I have to use the bathroom.
We walk through the big wooden doors,
down the beige-bricked hallway, over tan carpets.
Skipping into the tile-floored hub of the school basement,
I hop from tan block to tan block in a sea of burgundy tiles.
When the deed is done, we wash our hands
and hatch our plan to sneak into the boy’s bathroom.
We know it is forbidden.
We notice the difference immediately.
There aren’t many toilets like ours;
some funny ones line the walls.
Katie is blonde, skinny and also a little retarded.
She stands back and giggles as fat Christina with long hair
pulls down her pants and holds her female parts in her hands,
pretending to pee. I am quiet. I am ten.
I already know why the toilets are that way.
In the cafeteria we are making puzzle cards for our families.
Katie lives alone with her mother. Christina’s house
has a mom, dad, and a little brother. I have a mom, a sister
and also an aunt and uncle we visit frequently,
with a 15-year-old curious cousin.
I don’t tell the others what I know.
I would give anything to laugh innocently like Katie,
or know only enough to cup my hands like Christina.
Instead—this burden to carry.
Even then I knew wasn’t normal, even then I knew
to keep my secret.
I Come From and I Come Back
Krista M. Goley
I come from a trailer home in Southern Illinois.
I come from a town named Chester,
where the creator of Popeye once lived.
I come from a family that tends to forget
the people that they don’t see.
I come from being picked on,
bullied, ridiculed, and targeted.
I come from desiring love
that was seldom fulfilled.
I come back to myself inside of a New York prison.
I come back to myself amidst others
who have been hurt like me.
I come to a new family that sees me,
accepts me, and loves me for who I am.
I come to a point where I refuse to be
beaten down and pushed around.
I come to find the love
that I’ve always wanted,
deep inside myself.
"Krista M. Goley is an artist, poet, and inventor. She was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 28. She has travelled to much of the U.S. and several foreign countries as a carnival worker and a soldier in the U.S. Army. She is awaiting justice as a survivor of domestic violence. She is also a practicing Wiccan and the coordinator of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility's Wiccan Faith Group."