I guess you can say it’s hard to write a poem about your worst regret.
I still remember all the things you said and my memory plays them back to me now 3 years later even though I can’t remember the way my lips felt that last time the only man I ever loved kissed them.
Somehow though I remember the reason he left was me, no the reason he left was you, no the reason he left was me.
The doctor says it’s time for me to stop blaming myself.
When people say high school is miserable, it’s hard to not laugh when they say it’s because the classes were hard.
I smirk at the people who say that was the most studying they had ever done in their life. That was the most studying I had done in my life. I studied the ceiling.
I studied the feeling.
I analyzed myself and everyone around me so deeply, you can bet your ass I would have aced the test.
So they ask me, what brings you to our office?
I am a wreck from preparing myself for this exam question, for spending my night hopped up on one dose of my mother screaming another of trying to crash my car into a tree and a final dose of my boyfriend holding me asking if I was sure that’s what happened.
That I could tell him the truth.
I note that morning that to get me going I needed one dose of tear streaked cheeks another of courage and a final dose of eyes burning from reading a computer screen all night.
I thought I had friends in high school.
It’s so easy to lose friends in high school.
People hold you at arms length when they see you walk into an office.
What brings you to our office?
Apparently it’s easy to spot something burning in a room where nothing else is on fire because they made a point of isolating me.
It must look pathetic. A girl with a phone and tears coming down standing before you.
You should have seen it when she was laying down.
She shows you proof that high schoolers are vicious.
It’s him saying that they fucked, it’s her saying that she doesn’t remember it. It’s them saying she does remember it. It’s nobody else remembering it.
It’s me somehow never forgetting it.
It’s a war of words on a screen calling her a slut, saying she was asking for it.
It was him never asking for it!
It was a message from his brother saying that his little brother is going places.
I wonder if his big brother cares about the places he’s been going?
It’s admitting she had been harassed for several years and proof she had been harassed for several year and they’ve seen the proof that she had been harassed for several years because they watched him talk about and smack her ass for several years.
He used to shake hands with the principal with the same hand he smacked women’s asses with.
I wonder if that’s the hand that principal used to smack women’s asses with.
It’s being sent home from school and promised that from then on out I will never feel unsafe at school again.
It’s feeling unsafe in my own skin and highly doubting that promise.
It’s returning to school with nothing changed except for only being able to hear the word slut when hearing my own name.
What brings you to our office?
Some people act so surprised when they can’t control a fire by fanning the flames.
You can’t control a fire.
You can’t control an emergency.
You can’t control the blood that begins to boil under the skin that’s becoming singed by the flame that I am when you tell me that some things are just out of your control.
You made a promise.
I remember being told there was grey area.
Somehow I wasn’t able to see the grey in the black print on white background of publicly accessible social media posts where he clearly admitted rape and tagged me as the slut who had received it.
I somehow didn’t see the black and white in the puke from the alcohol poisoning from the bottle he had brought for me to drink or the red of the blood stained tampon I found in my cervix over 24 hours later.
It’s so easy to not see color when you stare at white walls all day that protect you from the blood that is being smeared and shed on the other sides of them.
I hope the next time I see you, you are walking with a gun to your back, just so you know the posture I had to keep to not feel the barrel of his eyes on my back.
I hope you have to look in the eyes of every girl you sent out of your office who said they didn’t feel safe and I hope the emptiness in their eyes makes you feel vulnerable.
The way I felt when I had to walk past my rapist in school.
I don’t hate this because he got to see me defeated, I hated this because his presence made the statement that violence is winning.
And I walked across the stage less than a month later at my graduation with a family that told me they were proud of me and I felt no sense of pride coming from a school that sits by and watches it’s women die.
And It’s hard to be proud of yourself for graduating from a school that contains fires only by trying to isolate them, that has seen a war within its walls and chooses to turn its back on the bloodshed.
I am not so angry that I couldn’t peg my murderer as a rapist, I am angry that you let him walk out of those white walls with a promise that he would come out of the war unscathed
Despite the many bleeding women who came to you to protect them from him.
And I have not forgotten the police who said there was grey area or the death threat from his brother that kept me away from more white walls.
We live in a society of white walls and unscathed men, of bleeding women and grey area.
And I will never again settle for just being the burning woman, on the other side of the walls, left to bleed with my sisters.
I am a nasty woman because…..
I refuse to let sexual violence win