Gin is the tension of the night. Gin is heavy on our tongues.
Our tongues are heavy on each other and flat and limber
and searching. A hand is sneaking in my blouse,
a hand is sneaking in my blouse and this is not embellishment —
you know the way you sneak, the peculiar weight bearing creep,
the circular route of this verb,
the circular route of this verb, this creeping, this questing, this alarm
bell surge in the cortex corridor, this warning, muted by gin
I relax. I do not want to be “the girl.” That girl takes it
the wrong way. That girl should just let the hand creep.
This is all right.
Is this all right? The mute gin girl relaxes and breathes and counts
bodies on the 3 a.m. sidewalk. Negative 4. Counts the leaves
on the 3 a.m. tree 64.
On the 3 a.m. tree. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 70. 70. 70.
We are at the hour of recrimination. Only legs and wallets
are open after 10.
Only legs and wallets are open after 10. We are five
hours past respectable. Five hours past reasonable.
We are thirty-five minutes from my house.
Thirty-five minutes from my house. A hand snuck in my blouse
and panties and scalp and a questing, a searching, a “You smell
so fucking good,”
so fucking good, this circular route past consent, this gin
heavy quest, my panic on his breath, this being taken
the wrong way
the wrong way, the wrong hour, the wrong night, wrong
dress, wrong choice and a terrible pause —
In 48 population-based surveys from around the world 10 – 69% of women reported being physically assaulted by an intimate male partner at some point.
What is more intimate than a fist?
Than the champagne cork
of cartilage and bone?
More than 50% of rapes/sexual assaults occur within 1 mile of home.
4 out of 10 occur at home
is where the heart is where the heart is where
Every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted.
Lifetime rate of rape/attempted rape for women by race:
- American Indian & Alaskan Women 34.1 %
- Mixed Race Women 24.4%
- Black Women 18.8%
- White Women 17.7%
- All Women 17.6%
- Asian Pacific Islander Women 6.8%
“But that’s not even 20%. You have a better chance of being hit
by a car.”
“They found her right behind the hospital, I saw the sirens
from my window. They heard her body in the snow. No head.
Naked. I think the guy had raped her. I think. Why not,
at that point? I wanted to stop the contractions. I wanted
to keep you up in me a little bit longer. You wanted out! Let’s go
hurry up! The nurses couldn’t stop crying. They were crying
in the hallways. A nurse was missing. From the hospital.
I don’t know if the body was black. That nurse was black —”
Are you serious?
“Yeah, it wasn’t safe. But that woman, they never did find out
who. I don’t even think they found her head. Or maybe
that was the girl they found in the river in the spring. Or
that housewife in Ottawa. Or that Mississauga girl.
Young like you. 19. Or that pregnant single mom. Belly big
with the sixth baby when the boyfriend killed her. Or
that other woman. Her husband beat her in the middle
of the day with a hammer. Airi, I think was her name. Yeah.
That was a bad year for women.”
What were you wearing on the night of the attack?
How short was your skirt on the night of the attack?
You have underwear on on the night of the attack?
How sheer was the garment on the night of the attack?
Can you name your attacker?
Could you spell that?
Were you romantically involved before the night of the attack?
Would you say he was a good boyfriend?
Can you tell me why your relationship came to an end?
And why did you decide to see him again?
Did you flirt with him on the “night of the attack?”
Did you drink with him on the “night of the attack?”
Were you in a bad mood before the attack?
Did you feel any pleasure during “the attack?”
Are you sure there even was