#MeToo

The day I was raped was the first time I wore a jean skirt. OMG, I was so excited. Was that the case with you, too?

It was up against my green Firebird, just after eight o’clock. It was beginning to get dark. He pushed me against the car, whispered in my ear, and looked behind him to make sure he had an audience. I swear I saw my head go through the window. Was that the case with you, too?

And when he was done, I’m not sure how I got home. But I remember his smile. I said “I’m okay” for two days. I tried to scrub him off my skin in scolding hot showers. Was that the case with you, too?

For nine years, I couldn’t even say the word “rape.” He took away every success I would ever achieve. He destroyed me. He still owns my legs! Is. that. the. case. with. you. too?!

I am ashamed. I am enraged, watching the world minimize my rape as if it is just a number; as if I am just another name on a page. As if every rape is exactly the same.

Do you think the numbers aren’t out there? Do you think men and women don’t know rape is almost like a handshake these days? Here we are posting #MeToo because it’s the next viral tag stamped on our pain. And the alleged victims who indirectly inspired this tag, can you tell me their names? Don’t you dare Google! Are you listening?

Can you say “Me, too?” Am I making you angry? What does my rapist look like? Did you forget?! Did you forget how it felt when you told your best friend, mother, or sister? Maybe you wrote a poem or a blog and shared it online, did you forget?

Did you forget how it felt when all you were trying to do is find your way back to yourself and when you needed support, when you needed to be heard, the world shouted, “Me, too!” And shared every detail of their rapes with you as if somehow that pain would keep your head above water? Did you forget?

Because I still have nights I can’t close my eyes and I would risk my own life to avoid seeing his face in my dreams. I have days I can’t take the weight of every way I’ve been violated. I violate myself just to cover the scars! And you don’t get to say, “Me, too.” You don’t get to make me feel reduced…

Unless you can name where they are.

When topics like this start trending on social media, it can be overwhelming for survivors. I was overwhelmed. Triggered even. This is the creative vent of a survivor in the heat of it all, written to cope. It is not an effort to discredit to #MeToo Movement, which is powerful and necessary. We all heal differently.

If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault and you are struggling, please reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE). Your rape did not happen to the rest of the world. It happened to you. 

What It’s Like To Be A Writer

You’re waiting for poetry to spill from these lips,
sweet kisses like soft droplets of water.
I’ve nothing to offer.
These lying hands have retired their grip.
Drawn from wells of ink,
you feast, you don’t sip.
Douse the pages with gas, light a match
and pretend to read,
write another line like it’s the first time.
You don’t give a shit if the book can’t breathe!
But I carry the broken hands of the writer in my heart.
My soul and my lips never part.
I drew out my pain and you smeared it with dirt and solder—
lead in your lungs, down on your knees
begging me, “please, write another novel!”
You don’t know me.
Scatter my ashes among lonely trees, take another drink
look up to the Father,
affirm my sins like you’re more worthy than me.
What?
I’ve nothing to offer, but
sweet droplets of water,
broken hands around my heart, I can’t breathe.

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We Were Oil In Water

We stood against the waves, you and me
Faced hurricanes down on our knees like we were thirsting for water
Balled fists and bruised knees, we wouldn’t sink
We were oil in water

We held revenge in our hands, you and me
Bedridden with trauma, praying to doctors for compassionate release
Damn this terminal grief
Balled fists and bruised knees, we wouldn’t sink
We were oil in water

Now I see the light is gone, sister
Gone in you and me
Lost in darkness and fire, and the demons are screaming.
I don’t know
Damn this terminal need for the love we can’t breathe
I hear sin calling to me
Balled fists and bruised knees, we wouldn’t sink
We were oil in water

I don’t know if you’ve seen the same hope as me, but I’m hungry and my arms are tired
Hungry for life I crave for you, I crave for me
And they pray
They pray to a god they can’t see, and we scream for miracles we can’t feel

But we don’t reach, you and me
Lifejackets and boats, dead lighthouses with no ropes
Balled fists and bruised knees, we won’t sink
We are oil in water