I turned twenty before I learned to name what you did to me. The passing of my effortless body to another thing that inflates and deflates like a cold black balloon. I didn’t even bleed but they said I would. Said it felt like something new, like petals opening then closing. But you closed me up good. I took the Xanax. Did that mean yes? I found the condom in the toilet after you left all swagger and pulse. Felt the thing rising inside of me twitching with the rhythm of your legs. I was a virgin but you took away nothing. Instead, you left me something deep inside of my muscles and when men look at me it grows and moves with its own beating. I’ve tried so hard not to feel it. Fucked boys drunk and careless on bathroom counters. Let them feed me what you fed me. Arms sliced up like a butcher block while they beat themselves inside of me. Hated myself so much for letting you… Did I let you kiss me? Did I ask you upstairs? I didn’t say yes. I know that much. But not much else. Just that second of pain and the hope it would end, you bearing down on me like a blind plow horse.
Later I met other girls moving inside the same twitching center. They were hard and tough. They listened to Tori Amos and knew well enough how to name their enemy. They ask me about the rape. I tell them I don’t call it that. It wasn’t your fault. It was mine. You probably thought I was wide open, I was asking, “please, fuck me. never mind that I told you I have a boyfriend, never mind that you gave me those pills, never mind that I was drinking with my friends parents, that I’m in my own house, that I thought I was safe with my mom and dad next door, that I’d never had sex before” I am such a fucking fool. I don’t even know what this was. Did you think at all? Were you fucked up too? You didn’t look fucked up. I took three bars. I drank vodka until I could not stand right. But you might have been. Probably didn’t know. Didn’t think I would still wake up scared four years later. Didn’t think I would feel your weight on me when my boyfriend touches me. Didn’t think that I would hate myself so fucking much for this this this. It was a misunderstanding. It was uneventful. You somehow pulled my yellow cotton shorts down my legs. I was too skinny. I was in high school. I was a virgin. I don’t know if I said “no”. Your tongue was like swollen cotton and it was all over me; my bruised kid legs, my running legs, my still legs, parts of me that I didn’t know I had yet. And I remembered times with my boyfriend in backseats, his hardness asking me for something I didn’t know yet. And his sweet sounds. And His man-ness. And now this. Now this. Now this. Your weight was so slight. I barely felt it. I didn’t bleed. There was no gun. I might not have said no. Your tongue was like cotton. You called out for “God”. But there was no God. There was no God there. Next, I went to sleep. I woke up naked. When I pissed there was blood. That was good. They said there would be blood. I called my boyfriend and told him what happened. I did not say “rape”. I did not say pills. I did not tell him about the shorts I was now wearing again. My yellow shorts, my pink shirt, my bruised legs, the blood in the toilet. He cried and left. I still don’t say “rape”. Feb 25
Trigger, trigger, trigger: The only thing I’ve ever written about either of the times I was raped