Today in class
we talked about the
intersection of sexuality
and I want the world
to know that I shook.
That I remembered.
That I felt my inner thighs
pressing against each other
See how hard it is
for me to eat.
Look at how broken
i feel pain for my soul,
you were always my dream
i dreamt of gold. the beauty and simplicity that would be our relationship
because we. we were meant to be.
i dreamt of autumn, harvesting one anothers minds, bodies, souls.
because, as i said. we were meant to be.
i still believed this even when he insulted me, and told me i was just a girl.
i still believed this when he ridiculed my passions and laughed at the art in the middle of the MET.
and later that night, forcing shots of alcohol down my throat until i blacked out in the bathroom, i still believed this.
he even told me not to. but i was blind, and maybe, just maybe the hurt was comforting.
i believed it even when he did not ask me to do it.
but when he grasped me i was gone
for i was neither happy nor sad
when he was doing this i felt numb
my spirit hovering in thin air
he would be the nightmare i had for the rest of my life.
and then i realized. it all seemed too much.
you were too scary.
monsters, answering with his breath.
my dream had transformed into my nightmare.
i loved you.
but i couldn't afford to stay.
I can still feel your hands on me,
The way they took, the way they gripped at my skin until I screamed.
You liked hearing me scream but you held a hand over my mouth just in case there were ears nearby.
You bruised my lips with how hard you held my face in place, I could barely breath.
Your hands they took, savagely, selfishly
Your eyes trailed my body with a tenderness that you couldn't possibly possess.
They humiliated me, for I was open, helpless.
You took and took, and you fucking took!
I cried, I kicked, I begged, but you were all about finishing what you started.
I can feel your hands, everyone who has ever touched me has your hands.
I'm crying, I'm crying, I'm crying, somebody help me, please stop, no more!
I want to feel pretty but not like this.
I flinch at the unexpected embraces.
I awaken in fright when I should be at peace in the night.
And you couldn't even look me in the eyes because you knew.
But you still took.
For the women with nightmares, bruised hips, fat lips, bodies that are turned into statistics and wrists that are put under a microscope.
For the women who have had the courage to be loud, and for those who had the courage to be quiet.
For the women who seize up when they hear a distasteful joke and for those who spent too long laughing along because its easier to say nothing than to say anything at all.
For the women who sleep with all of the lights on, who don't leave the house after sunset, the women who feel unworthy of a voice, unworthy of their own energy and time, and never mind that of others.
For the women who just want to simply be women without fear, without pain, without their guard up.
For the women who just want to simply be... Me too.
Eve has hands like a wrecked garden: dirt caked under her fingernails, wild and vicious and thorn-covered; wild and sunstruck and crawling. She presses her palms into the grass underneath the orchards and prays a blasphemy.
This is how it goes: there is always a boy, or maybe a snake. There is a time before, with the darkness so whole and absolute it chokes, and there is a time after, with burning light and shame so heavy it puts you on your knees.
This is how it goes: your summerborn cheeks flushed but your eyes cold and barren and wintered.
This is how it goes: you are made from bones that never settled into the earth.
The apples hanging from the trees have gone nearly overripe and heavy, bending from the boughs and flushed red.
Eve has a mouth sticky-sweet and soft, a body like a rosebush in bloom.
Eve has a bird's nest of hair that calls home only vultures.
This is how it goes: there is always a hunger for more.
Eve presses her palms against the planes of her stomach, against the soft curves the moon has smoothed onto her.
Eve presses her palms into the grass and howls: "I will not bear you fruit."
“No” does not exist
“No” has been replaced with “yes”
So, every time I say “no,”
it means “yes”
This is what he told me.
I am not allowed to say “stop”
In our relationship,
“Stop” is not part of my vocabulary
This is what he told me.
“Take off your clothes”
“What did we talk about?”
“I said No”
He pushes me on the bed
and unbuckles his belt
I try to get up
but he pushes me down again
He grabs my legs
pulling me towards him
“Please stop” I whisper,
He puts his hands around my throat
I can’t breathe
“If you say the word ‘stop’ again,
I will kill you.”
I close my eyes
because I knew he wouldn’t stop.
Not until he was finished.
I lay in silence,
tears running down my face.