7/30 2016 Now, Again

It wasn't until the doctor called

My stomach dropped, mouth dry 

they only call after a visit when it’s bad news 

She said “the test came back and it seems you have an std, Chlamydia. It is completely curable so don't worry”


I manage to thank her for calling before i hung up

my body shivering 

and my palms began crying 

I was in my car and it required too much effort to drive now 

hard to see past the tears forming 

Can't multi-task with a broken heart 


I pretended it hadn't happened for a month now 

But I’d have to take medicine now 

Would have to call my partner now 

Explain what I had never acknowledged now 


I wondered how I could explain that night 

That I didn't see it coming

That I didn't think anything was wrong with a friend visiting late 

That I went to sleep thinking I’d made myself clear 

I was in love with someone else, happy even 

I said “anything that happened in the past could no longer” 

I thought my no was clear 

Clear enough to fall asleep, in my bed, without fear of waking up to the thick of him inside of me 

How could explain? 

That I was comfortable enough with him that I wasn't alarmed by his presence 

How could I explain?

That I said nothing while he fucked me, because I had already said no before it began 

And I wondered why I would be the one to explain 

How it is always the victim who has to explain? 


But I called my lover—told him to get checked 

I called my ex-lover just in case 

Felt their judgement suffocate me through the phone 

Their silence screamed disappointment  

Over the next week, neither one spoke to me

And I get it 

Exile is easy


My mother pretended she didn't hear me say “sexually assaulted”

There is nothing like shame 

It is much easier to think of her daughter as whore, irresponsible, careless 

Much easier to process the names we call our daughters 

Much easier than taking on teaching our sons not to RAPE

This word we reserved for men we do not know

People we do not know 

But I have known every man who invaded my body 

Even loved some of them

And that’s the thing 

You cannot demonize a man you love 

But how do you reconcile loving the monster that seeks to kill you? 

You either pretend he isn't one or pretend not to know that he is. 


And I do not know how to unravel every uninvited touch 

I do not know how to become purified again 

I have seen too much 

Know too much about the nature of a hungry man 

But I try

I try daily to become new again 

Try to love again 

Try to trust again 

And forgive 

Every aspect that created an environment where this is part of my story