This Poem Might’ve Started Funny

I read my poetry at Orange Peel
two weeks into my septum piercing, still tender
and seven days before I had non-consensual sex

the septum hurt more than the sex
at least, physically

and speaking physically
I always thought I was too strong
to be assaulted sexually. I mean,
look at me. No shrinking violet, more like
a chubby geranium. I’m hardy. Sturdy.
Brick shithouse-y. I shake my head

at beautiful but weedy Asians asking
if I’ll ride topside. Uh-uh, no dice.
No way you’re explaining in strangled Chinese why we’re at
A&E (sex-related injury)

I mean, honestly.
Hitting the gym recently
I shoulder pressed one twenty but
I couldn’t push a guy off me

(and that’ll really check your strength,
this kind of
fitness test: not recommended, but at
least it means I’ve perfected my
chest press.)

It was rape but it wasn’t, not really
not ‘stranger-danger, hold your handbags in the park and quiver’ rape

not ‘stand and deliver, your vagina
or your life’ kinda rape

more like we kissed (consensually)
we fucked (consensually)
we fucked (consensually)
we got 3am burgers and beers (consensually), and

somewhere in the middle you
took your condom off like a kid unwrapping candies in the dark
(trying not to make a noise) and I
told you

unequivocally that
no glove, no love. No latex, no sex
no excuses. You hung your head
and winked at me like
a naughty schoolboy but

when you held me down
and fucked me raw you were
all Marine. And I caught that grin
as you looked at me beneath you and
your eyes flicked to the
box of Durex on the bedside and you
shook your head, you prick. Funny, that

funny that you told me afterwards
how much you’d enjoyed raping me and
it was meant as a joke but no,
it wasn’t funny, and no
this poem isn’t funny anymore either.

It isn’t funny that
all I will hear as a woman

(as a woman that means as a victim that means as a liar that means as a slut)

is
‘You put yourself in that position.’
Really? As if I spread my legs
and begged for it. Or ‘but you had sex with him… before’

as if sex implied his right to
take me all night in any
caveman way he pleased.

Person A might say: why didn’t you say
No? Why didn’t you say stop?

But they don’t realise that No
is a soldier, standing on a bridge
saying Do Not Cross

and if he kills the soldier, it’s a crime
and if he is prepared to commit that crime

what other crimes might he commit
against me and my body? I call this the
Ted Bundy moment; you read about
women going missing

sometimes it’s safer to go along like
rape was a picnic and not a

Free
Fall.

No is a spoken spider web
if it’s torn, everything is destroyed.

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About fiercemissc

Twenty-something Geordie girl living and working in Hong Kong. Young, free and single and making the most of it.
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1 Response to This Poem Might’ve Started Funny

  1. iamsbutters says:

    This hit home.

    Sick to my stomach and everything I’ve tried to bury – you bring something to the surface that needed to be brought there but is also hard to swallow.
    Beautifully written in a way that’s bitter and gut wrenching. Love you, always. X

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