Workshop With A Distinguished Cisgender Heterosexual White Male Poet

I thought it was clear—
but the instructor
said he didn’t know
what was happening.
He alluded
that the stanza break 
in the two stanza poem
was shit.
I couldn’t find words,
but the women,
the women,
the women
in the workshop,
said it was clear—
the speaker
was raped.
He said
it wasn't evident.
In harmony
the women agreed—
it is clear,
it is clear,
it is clear.

Dustin Brookshire is the curator of the Wild & Precious Life Series and founding editor of Limp Wrist.  He is the author of two chapbooks—Love Most Of You Too (Harbor Editions, 2021) and To The One Who Raped Me (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012).  With Julie E. Bloemeke, Dustin is co-editing a forthcoming Madville Publishing Dolly Parton anthology. Visit Dustin online at