Aftermath Of Rape (Revised)
Last summer I had opened the windows over the bed
To let in the night's breeze;
But air too still drugged me to deep sleep,
Smothering me under its dead-weight heat.
I awakened with a heavy body upon me,
With the stench of a stranger's hand upon my mouth,
And a drunken breath whispering gutturally in my ear:
Knife-prodded, it took me a minute longer
To awaken to the fact that those demands
Were from an unknown intruder
Who wouldn't take "no" for an answer
Despite how strongly delivered.
With my tongue the terror tried to speak,
Though I denied it my full-throated scream.
Later with words I appeased it,
Coating fear with chewy intellect
So that my mind and jaws kept busy
While the terror melted,
Receded to the back of my throat
And enthroned upon a tightly strung larynx,
Waited for the right breath to give it life.
I can feel it like an itch -
An urge to gag, I guard each breath
And learn to defeat it with swallows.
Tangled there in sinew, the fear remains
Unspoken, but drains me of any complete release.
Now with so many words between the act
And the stifled reaction,
I see how my mind bargained for time to absorb
What the body had to receive and accept in the moment.
And now with my tongue the terror finally speaks.