When Did The World Forget That I'm a Child?

Rotting grin

Eager and bony hands

Hungry eyes

You’re 6 when it first happens 

You still believe in Santa 

You’re at arts-‘n-crafts day camp 

When you leave the Sesame Street table

Because you need to use the bathroom 

The one next to the playground 

You stroll along 

humming a song you heard in a commercial 

When you see him outside the chain link fence

He’s holding a small camera 

And waving to get your attention 

You make your first mistake 

And make your way over to him

You’re too young to know better

“Hello! What’s your name?”

You kick a pebble next to your sneakers 

“My name is Kate, I like your camera.”

He laughs, and you see his teeth 

They’re grimy and uneven 

It’s enough to make you almost miss his hooded eyes 

The same that keep glinting with something you’re too little to identify 

When you’re older, you’ll recognize it as hunger 

“You’re a pretty little girl, could I take some pictures of you?”

You nod, knowing that this is your chance to show off your brand new WALL-E shirt

He gestures for you to sit, and then asks for you to lay on your side 

He makes you pose in a lot of different ways 

And you wonder why he’s grinning so widely 

When you put your hands between your thighs, like you’re told

After a while, you remember you came out here to use the toilet 

You ask the man:

“Can I go now? I need to pee.”

He chuckles, but doesn’t actually say anything 

You repeat yourself, a little louder this time 

“Can I go now?”

He sighs, and takes one last photo 

“Alright.”

You walk to the restroom, away from the man who saw your round face and unruly hair

And found it all more alluring then any women 

When you’re older, you’ll think back on this moment

Horrified at what he could be doing with those pictures

How he had looked into your innocent eyes 

And had only seen a call for him 

To use his camera like a third eye

Drinking you in

Motivated by desires you didn’t even know existed 

Fueled by perversity you wouldn’t have been able to comprehend 

It was a classic case of the maiden and the monster

Except not really

You weren’t nearly old enough to be the maiden

And he was worse than a monster

 

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