this is not a letter, it’s my turn to lurk

CW: This poem describes sexual assault and the aftermath.

Dear C,

I feel empty with you inside of me
my body your muse
my body, takes the blame
my body I hate, you make me disgusted

All night you eye me, your
gaze my desire
We dance, you kiss
You grab my hand, I follow your lead
you present drinks like a game, you keep them coming I don’t want to lose 
You pull me aside, you flatter me,
I follow you home

You know the dance too well,
rush me into something I’m not
pretend I’m the
center of your universe
you betray the stars

I remember it in flashes,
you behind then you on top
I remember your smirk, your
soft little chuckle, the freckle
above your lip
you further inside until I’m
piercing with pain, you don’t stop.

The way you shoved your fingers
inside of me,
my sleep no deterrence.
The way you thought more was 
ok, my power in your hands.
Deeper, deeper inside me,
my autonomy a final thought.
You force it in, I was curled up in a 
ball so peacefully, you wanted it,
you didn’t care.
What part of you thought I
was asking for that?

and then I think it’s over. 4am &
finally sleep I’ve earned

but something life has repeatedly 
taught me is apparently,
I don’t deserve much.

pretend it doesn’t exist, look away,
turn your head.
You’re exaggerating, it doesn’t matter,
nothing happened.

Except I still feel inside me
something my sleeping self didn’t want
I remember coming to light confused
go along with it, don’t make a scene,
compliance is safe.

I see you lurking around, 
your tall spindly gaze a
reminder of the feeling

Waking up to fingers
where they don’t belong
repeated pain you hold in,
waves crashing, you brace yourself until they wash to shore.
I am confusion, not 
fully myself, powerless,
out of control.
The sensation of your sway,
knowing it’s bringing you pleasure 
and my purpose is to please.

A sleepless night I lie awake
what happened? I don’t allow myself
the truth
my clothes on the floor, my body naked
next to yours, your blanket my warmth,
your blanket my protection, your blanket my fear for what happens under
The sun rises, I rip it off, I forget, 
your innocence my inoculation.

I tell myself it didn’t happen,
I must be making it up. I let people
walk all over me, jump on me
like thin ice on the sidewalk over
a pool of water
I crack and the water splashes,
but I don’t dare let anyone get wet

I was sexually assaulted my
second night at Yale
That is what happened Pia,
how does that make you feel?

Dear C, 

This is not a letter, I don’t want
to acknowledge you

I don’t like seeing you around,
I don’t like that I let you see me
every time your craning neck gazes,
I feel stretched, shoved, stung inside of me
I don’t like that I let you get
away with it
I don’t like that I made myself
forget, pretended it didn’t happen

I feel for your insecurity, your past,
but not for turning that into a need to feel power over others,
young women your weapon of choice

stop asking me “you good?”
when you know you made me not
My bed you took away from me, sleepless nights I spend on the floor
curling up is the only way I feel warmth in this cold body of mine,
you robbed me of this comfort,
made me fall asleep
vulnerable,
plague me with flashbacks.
you treat me like I’m damaged,
weak, a little girl. Do you
get pleasure from this power?

Dear C,

this is not a letter 
to you, it’s the story of
the truth
& you don’t get to lurk away.

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