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Gabriel Jan 27
that night, i wore a polo shirt.
i thought hey, i'm going to a friend's
dorm, no need to dress up, right?

so i wore a polo shirt, a yellow and blue and pink
thing. i'd bought it from a charity shop
only weeks earlier, when i was still exploring
a new university town
and finding not-so-hidden gems;
and sure, it was three sizes too big
but it was comfortable, and made me feel safe.

turns out, you didn't care about polo shirts
or tank tops. you cared about what was underneath
and i was drunk enough to let you - or,
well, not really let you, but i didn't need to dress up
so i wore baggy clothes and a smile
so i had half a bottle of jack daniels
and i had a nineteen year old point to prove
and i had a pill that you gave me
and i had - sorry, have - a therapist's bill.

but this isn't about you. i don't write about you.
i make a point of not writing about you,
actually. which is to say that i write about you
in a way that doesn't let you hurt me anymore.
i write about what i was wearing
(did i deserve it? in my 1970s male t-shirt?)
or what i was drinking
(it was university)
or how i tried to throw myself into a river
in the aftermath
(but i didn't, because i got thirsty, and i didn't
want to die thirsty, so i went home).
no, i'm writing about the polo shirt i was wearing.

cotton, i think. polyester, probably.
the amazing technicolour haze of am i sober enough for this?
who knows how many iterations
of the same lancaster charity shop
it circled through, old men with families
and wives and kids -
it probably saw birthdays and christmases
and, safely tucked in the back of a closet,
shielded itself from the almost-crisis of cuban missiles.

and then, me. a nineteen year old
branching out into the world for the first time;
a lover of poetry, maker of music, naïve and beautiful.
then, it was just a polo shirt, and i wore it
as long as it was laundered, for a month or so,
until december. not that i stopped wearing it
because it was cold. it just reminded me of hands
and hands and hands and
****, how many hands can a man have?
how long will i have to feel them?

i didn't shower the day after, just slept.
a hangover, right? just a hangover.
and then, when the hot water in my dorm
daily ticked on, i washed every inch of myself
to get rid of you, and your foam banana shower gel
that your mother probably told you to buy.

so, what compensation do you owe me?
what price should i put on things?
you touch it, so you pay for it.
one charity shop shirt, three pounds please.
oh this is DARK my apologies <3 i'm fine <3
Talia Oct 2021
Malice ripples
lying low, under
penetrating nightlife strobe.

Repercussions?
None to show.

Limp bodies
'getting loose'
In truth,
injected with poison;
a slow-acting noose.

Repulsive actions of the
vile & depraved
****
endorsed at raves.
indigochild Sep 2021
I am a crumpled sheet of paper in the hands of my predators
Their hands snaked around me, squeezing the life from my body, leaving me to collapse into their want
Too young to realize, too weak to fight back
………
                                                He choose the game he wanted to play
                                                and I became a dice he could roll around
                                                in the palm of his hands
                                                         But this body is my temple, you lost                                               my game and there will never be round two
………
My own thoughts strangled me as my body refused to listen to my brain
To touch my skin felt like fire burning through my veins, fire that ignited my predator
Hopelessly sinking into the bed that became an ocean, water drowning me and continuously pulling me further down
………
                                                        ­ She destroyed my innocence where
                                                       “playing house” meant I played victim
                                                         and she played the predator
                                                        ­ But this body is my temple and you
                                                         did not receive an invite to my
                                                         house p­arty
………
They had the power to take my dignity into the palm of theirs hands and crumble it up
We are told when we crumble up a sheet of paper, you can never make it the way it was before
………
                                                      ­    He threw me over his shoulder like a
                                                   rag doll and brought me to the place that
                                     was once “my room”and is now “my nightmare”
                                  But this body is my temple and not for you to play
                                                 with like a doll you received on a holiday
………
Words disintegrating from my lips with the ashes of consent and destroying my trust for any human to touch my skin
Circling the drain of intimacy
………
                                                    ­ They strapped me down and taught me
                                                        that crying meant I was “asking for it”
                                                             But this body is my temple and
                                                             my ­words are louder than your lies
………
I wear the damage on my heart
My body used against me more than the number of fingers on my hand
………
                                                       But this body is my temple and when I
                                                                ­           broke free of your *******,
                                                        ­                 my temple grew taller than
                                                                ­          your hands could touch me
………
I am a crumpled sheet of paper escaping the hands of my predator
Destiny C Sep 2021
SA Trigger Warning*

I can still remember the couch.
The way I cried in my friend's arms when I thought of that couch.
Pinned down.
Abused.
Forcefully used.
On the couch.

Couch.

I still remember going into my apartment alone after.
The way my body shaked for nights spent crying in my bed after.
At my friend's apartment after.
In the hospital after.
Years after.

After.

They say the mind can forget sometimes,
but what always remembers the trauma is the body.
The one that kicked and fought off the body.
The one that layed under the body.
The violated body.
The tortured body.
The unsafe body.

The Body

After

The Couch...

was never the same.
Not for me to blame.

I know that now.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to ****** assault. Please be aware that you can contact the ****** Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (US).
Kennedy Sep 2021
i don't recognize you in crowds anymore.
i don't have to see your face in every
blond haired, blue eyed,
morally ambiguous white boy.
i can hear your name
without the lightheadedness.
there is no more bile to hold back.

i don't think i will ever forget the feeling
of you. your hands. your tears
on my back the minute you finished.
the moment you realized
what you had done. tell me,
did your god ever forgive your sins?
and by sins, i don't mean the ****.
you didn't fear the legal repercussions,
you feared hell.
adultery was never your scene,
you told me.
you did not have premarital ***.
that was a sin. and you were not a sinner.
tell me,  what did your priest say?
did he tell you that god loves you?
just as he does all his creations?

do you remember what you told me?
you repeated it so many times,
it is engraved into my brain.
you kept telling me god would forgive me.
that he would forgive me.
god knows we can't help but to sin.

but i wasn't the sinner, and
i'm sure this will come as a surprise,
but your god does nothing for me.
there is nothing your neglectful
and lazy at best god can offer me.
you're going to tell me
that "our father" who art in heaven
chose to lead you into the temptation
of my nonconsenting body?
should your benevolent savior be real,
just know you were delivered to evil.
salvation has nothing on the trauma i've endured.
gray Jun 2021
There are eight hundred different ways to describe
the way that I feel when I look into your eyes:
is it anger? Regret? Sadness? Fear?
Did you know I haven't forgotten you all of these years?

Yes, you did hurt me and for that, I cried for
almost three months you can't be surprised-
because what you took from me? Something so pure,
and turned me into something else, that wasn't there before.

It's been a while-; I'm glad of that.
I see you've changed and I'm proud of that.
I hope your new girl won't get hurt like me-
please don't leave her in tears and ruined sexually.
it's been a couple years, and I've never fully talked about the ****** assault I faced with my ex boyfriend when I was 15. But I feel like this is one of the best ways I can put it: I don't know how I feel when I see him, and I don't know how to feel about his friends. But I do hope "I" is okay- don't you dare hurt her.
Elizabeth Zenk May 2021
The first time it happened I was 5
I was lured by candy as children are
All I can remember is hands and pain
And being told to not remember
And I when I speak on it
All I can hear is familial silence
And stares that tell me to not speak up at all
When CPS came knocking on the door
I covered for him.
My mom asked me why
Why I didn’t tell her all these years
My response was simple:
I did the first time it happened
It continued still, you were drunk after all
I wasn’t the first he did it to
And I’m sure I wasn’t the last
It’s weird to tell people to not joke about ******
It’s weird to tell people my first experience was when I was five
It’s weird to tell people I remember
It’s weird to pretend I don’t

The second time it happened I was 15
With my first ever boyfriend
I was out cold, and he did as he did
I don’t remember much, but this
He’s checked my pulse and he bragged
For months I didn’t realize what happened
I could not register what it was
I told my mom, I could see she blamed me
I could see trust wane in her rise
I could tell she didn’t see it how it hurt me
I was 15 and asleep
He was 16 and awake
And somehow I blame myself
It’s weird to tell people I still love him
It’s weird to tell people I forgave
It’s weird having to tell people it wasn’t my fault
And it’s weird losing friends over it

Third time it was with my boyfriend again
I wasn’t asleep I wasn’t a child
I was scared
He held me still
I said no but he didn’t know I was serious
Tears slipped out of my eyes
I froze in terror
I cried for hours afterwards
I knew what it was, he knew what it was
I blame myself.
I told him no.
No. No. No.
Now I flinch when someone touches the back of my head
I am wounded
It’s weird to tell people it happened again
It’s weird I still love him after all of it
It’s weird to forgive again
It’s weird

They were hundreds of times between
Of men touching what they weren’t supposed to
Of I’m making comments about me
Coercing me
Making me a part of their perversions
Of believing flirting is ticket for their ****** harassment
Of making me instinctively hate men.
Victim blaming
Degrading
Sexualizing
I am yet a woman
It’s weird to not be a woman
It’s weird to be a talking point
It’s weird to be silenced
It’s weird.
Z May 2021
TW: r#pe culture

anxiety-riddled,
my head is a constant battle of sounds
and feelings crashing
like waves into each other;
interference scares me.
as does being out of rhythm,
missing too many beats — i am
conflict-averse but i am also
realistic:

i know that
sound travels faster
through solids and liquids
than through the air,
can be distorted
and interfered
into oblivion—
that when
push comes to shove,
whisper networks
can only reach so far.

scores of screaming matches
between metoo advocates and r#pist apologists
crescendos of nails
scraped across a board
feel a bit too familiar
like listening to white noise and broken records on repeat
while scrolling through toiletpaperworthy nonapologies
witnessing victims collectively crying in an orchestra of agony
and then be blamed for attention-seeking at best,
of causing their own suffering at worst.

although it pains me to listen to these tragic tunes,
it is amusing how so many mishear this collective choir as
survivors celebrating with silly receipts in cancel parties
serving blistering hot tea sweetened by revenge - no

all this is anything but
cathartic.

it’s to make people aware
that the same melodies are sung or screamed
  by those who suffered similar pains
and so that those of a similar frequency know
there are those who listen
that their voice matters
and we are not alone.

- 20210315
last updated: 20210531
callie Apr 2021
i’m not yours.
i never have been
and for the life of me
i can’t figure out why you thought i was.

was it the way i dressed,
the way i acted,
or simply the look in my eyes?

or was it the things I can’t control,
the curves i grew and
the ******* i had no choice but
to have?

i never wanted this.
i never asked for this.
i don’t want your attention
or your wandering hands.

i want to be free to do what i’d like
just to be,
to just
let myself go.

but i can’t.
all because of a stupid little thing
that should be little
but is seen as big

why did i have to be a woman?

instead of living carefree
i have to be careful.

keep the legs always crossed
wear shirts up to your neck
be respectful
(but not too respectful,
lest they believe
you’re asking them for
something)

but even if
you follow all the rules
they don’t care.

your very body is an invitation.

because what is ****** autonomy
in a male dominated world?

spoiler alert: there isn’t any.
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