No and no and a thousand times, no.
I値l say it now, filled with the newing courage
of age I did not carry with me then.
I値l say it with a tongue to lash a hundred yous,
no, a million like you. For those who cannot now,
and could not then, I値l say it now and ever-after.
No and no and no and no.

You set the knife, the noose, the drug, the gun
inside my unwilling hands. With your touch, your tongue,
your menacing shush. You handed me your baggage,
your guilt to carry, to hold, to swallowto keep inside.

And me, but a boy, I took it. Willingly.
I toted it with me these thirty years.
I let it kill me again and again,
because I knew I could not be killed, not really.

I knew you had already done the job succinctly,
murdered me with your filthy touch,
your unspeakable lust. You took my life.
Ended the me I could have, should have been.
That boy? He痴 gone forever.

The longing inside, the burn, the not-ever-knowing
who I might have beenit twists inside my splintered mind,
like a knife let loose. An ache, a loss, a question never answered.

Today, no longer a boy with an old man hot of breath
and mad with evil to force me down
today, I say only one word.
I say it knowing I am lost forever
and I can no longer say it for myself.

But I say it anyway,
for boys, for girls,
for women and for men
who may not have the strength
to say such a simple, potent word.
No and no and no and no.