Outside the pink bungalow in Pleasure Ridge Park, two men sat in a Thunderbird, engine running. My father said they watched the house the whole time. In the living room, the tv was on. I sat on a sofa against a green afghan until she was ready for me. Her husband drank a beer, told me not to touch the shivering chihuahua. “She’s got a mean bite,” he said. Aunt Wanda’s husband found this woman. His truck drivers recommended her. My father, a good Catholic, drove me there, just like he took me to confession other Friday evenings, to tell my sins. In her bedroom, pictures of grandchildren cluttered the dresser, white stockings hung on a wooden rack above white shoes newly polished. She had me lie on the double bed. Opening my legs for her wasn’t easy. She was hunched and burnt-looking. Her whole face puckered toward her mouth. She spoke with words like “dirty shame” while she gave her absolution — a small, white cloth inserted into my womb. I wanted it to hurt. It didn’t at first, not even the needle she pushed into my thigh while I watched my hand curl and uncurl the pink chenille. The first blood came before dawn. My father went to work. My mother watched tv. I lay upstairs in my room and thought of college as rhythmic pains came. I turned my crucifix to the wall and soaked the sheets. Just after lunch I passed the cloth, some clots, some flesh, then bundled it all in a clean towel and lay on the yellow bathroom rug. I will go away from here, I sang to myself, I will never come back, I will never come back.