Assault, Ad Nauseum

the rape, ironically

was only the beginning

of the assaults

those penetrating moments

intoxication blurred

splattered a visceral montage

burned into retina

tattooed onto neurons

imprinted, lacerating, into cell fibers

they lurk, Lochness monsters

beneath the surface

drag her

gulping mouthfuls of horror

suffocating

in the undertow

now and then

the soundtrack

needle on the record

needle on the record

needle on the record

is the aftermath

the boyfriend

who responds to her question

(early morning shocked and hungover)

“Is it rape if you’re too drunk to make them stop?”

with “just go to work” instructions

(ever the worker bee, she showers,

goes to work, where the assailant awaits)

followed, in subsequent days

with an impossible dichotomy

endorse retribution

or acknowledge consent

relationship ends

self-doubt persists

the girlfriends

evening following

whose helpful solution

to repeated blurting

of her reality

is well-schooled

good girl avoidance

“let’s go get drunk”

as her torment

slices too close to the bone

of experiences

they pretended away

the nurse

emergency room jaded

steri-stripped of empathy

whose face banged the gavel

when indoctrinated Catholicism

spoke in her voice

refusing morning after pills

the detective

whose investigative strategies

consisted of assigning blame

to wayward vaginas

that frighten him for his daughter

(her age, he emphasizes)

despite his assiduous

applications of guilted

chastity belts

while enshrining the statement

“consensual”

of the other

the prosecutor

(months delayed,

read persistent self-advocacy)

who dropped preparation

in favor of lunch

blindsided her

before the grand jury

referencing nonexistent conversation

automatic pilot kicks in

appeasing, she nods assent

another helpful helper noted

forever fuming

her voicelessness

in the aftermath

 

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