My father trusted her.
Hours of courtroom litigations
promising us that she got a new place
and she’ll never pick up a pipe again.
It only took 48 hours of visitation
before I was sleeping in a bando,
rat feces pushed aside 
for a makeshift mattress made for one. 
Seven-year-old girl
eyes no longer full of wonder
instead this baby girl just
sit and ponder…when will she 
take another hit?
Better yet, 
when will I get hit?
And can I even fathom to 
figure out what I did to deserve it?
Nasty sweat and pungent piss
heavy body on top, with a 
sideline coach cooing,
“Baby be a good girl and do it like this.” 
Whatever a 8 ball is worth 
was worth more 
than your daughter forever 
feeling like a whore.
Rats and roaches
crawl on the floor.
“Mama I’m hungry”
“Go sit down, the dope man’s at the door.” 

Tiara Swearington is an unhoused writer and poet who lives in Oakland.