I, You

I, You

christopher-campbell-28570-sparks crop
Am I finished
Have I lost who I was?
Am I gone
Was I cut up?
I don’t make sense any more
Can you see me
Am I whole?
Do you think less of me
Am I human
Do I have a soul still?
Am I shattered
Am I defiled
Am I soiled
Am I barren
Am I devastated
Have I lost my desirability?
My mojo
My zest
My attraction
My sweetness
My light?
My music

For so
Many months
I could not touch my own body
After rape
Have they bled me dry
Did he finish me?
Waste me
Did he succeed
To violate me to
Oblivion?
Space.
Am I in a graveyard
Am I gone?
Could you still
Love me like
This,
Do you, still, could
You?
Could you take me in
Your arms and
Not see the damage?
What do you see?

I said
Do you think less of me?
You said,
Because of what happened? No
If anything I think more of you.
How can this be ?
Sometimes I think
Am I charity
Am I worthy?
Can I say,  I love you
Am I less?
Am I equal
Can I be?
Can I find peace  after
This devastation
Am I allowed to ?
Why did I have to go through this?

A  perpetrator can’t do time, no
He can leave destruction  in his wake
And no one disturbs his day
He never faced prison
Did he even take a day off work?
No hospital
No examination room
No prophylactic drugs given
Too late
No waiting for results of HIV
No racking your brains for where to live safely
How to live in fear
How to avoid every man who comes near
Now that I can’t even look one in the eye
Did I die?
What about my time
Am I a whore?
Marked
Why did I go through
This punishment?
No one could save me
Why did I deserve this year of
exile to hell?
After something someone chose
To do
and silenced
Stonewalled

You, my trusted friend,
You sat there with me
Listening
When I cried
You sometimes said nothing
You believed in me
When I thought
I had already died
You held onto me  when
I spoke out
I  objected
That an assailant’s desires
And anger came
Before my rights
Before mine
Override everything I had.
They can take a woman
And just dismiss her
Say she wanted what he just took
Doesn’t even count that she said
No
She Is injured and devastated
Throwing up, bleeding
and she was
Celibate
Yes

You were the first one to say
“Guys who do this,
Why should it be
Kept a secret?”

You drove me
Down to the sea
Sit quietly
While I weep
All this, can you
Stomach it
Is it part of me?

I won’t dump it on you
But where does it go?
I feel like you helped me shovel it away
All that shit that covered me
And doesn’t belong on me
Or anywhere here
But leaves it’s smear
How do you look me in the face,
Eat breakfast with me?
Sip coffee
Put your arms around me?
Tell me you’re proud
Let your cat climb on me
Let him loose with me
Tell me you trust me
Play music with me
Cry with me
How do you do these things?
Let me in your house
Even when you’re out
These things mean a lot
I wake in the night
Aching for you
And something I never tell you
It doesn’t go away
When I realise
And I’m still
Cut up inside
There were moments of peace
where I felt truly alive still
With you I can breathe
I feel free
I think,  can I, how can?
Would you
Could you
Vojnar1BrokenFlowers
©GS

#AnnaJuliet #GirlSurvivor #BelieveHer #BreaktheSilence

On Consent

On Consent

miguel-salgado-160276
We need to reclaim our own
agency
our body is our own and
belongs to nobody
it is not an object
or territory
over which men
-or anyone-
fight,
mark as possession
dominate or discard
and ravage
and leave devastated
when they finish
scorched earth
and try to poison
when he cannot have
jeopardise
our way of communicating
for us, women and girls
and for boys and other men
No one but you
Has the right
to tell you what you want
or wanted
or that you agreed
when you never consented
or you were pressed
to sign a blank check
and never saw the
small print
consent is an agreement
in full knowledge
of what is coming
and the right to refuse
without consequences
not a con trick
where you were cornered
and depleted of your senses
It is your body and
yours alone
you are beautiful
You are human
andrik-langfield-petrides-270368
©GS

Photos with thanks to Miguel Salgado and Andrik Langfield-Petrides
#RapeSurvivor #Girlsurvivor #Consent #NonConsent #NotOkay #DontBeSilenced #MeToo