The only real education I ever got
was when he put me on my knees.
The only life lesson I was ever taught is
that men can take what they need.
The only real thing I know for sure
is that “no” is just a word.
And the only real memories I have
are ones I created for myself,
to layer thickly like years of new paint on top of old,
to cover the toxicity of lead and mold.
So the only real art I have inside me,
reveals itself when the paint wears thin.
Really, I should start armoring myself instead
with layers of tin.