WE COULDN’T HAVE KNOWN BUT

growing up as lonely small touched girls we learned the word for rape & thought it was synonymous with sex & no one taught us otherwise & the world made it seem like they love you only as hard as they hold you

down & the law of attraction is as follows: they are attracted to you so they take you and you take it & so we learned & we took turns & we still won’t talk about the ways we touched each other when we thought we were someone else’s

playground & recess the week after was silently spent walking the paths alone trying to find words for wanting in the concrete & we were scared of being lesbians and coming home to families who would rather us drown

in the fox river than do what we did & how we let ourselves do & we let everyone else fluff our pillows & fell asleep staring at the ceiling inches between us too small to know sex is meant to be talk before touch & rape is not touch

see even if it’s soft the contact is still impact & see we just wanted to be held like we were loved & shit that’s not it but on the bus in fifth grade Nick asked his friends which of us girls he would rape if he could & Mason picked me & he knew

where I lived no I mean he could see my bedroom window from the street as we drove past & I couldn’t shake that or sit still so I slinked against the window seat & let my head bang against the glass hard as how men are supposed to touch you right but

later he came to me & said don’t worry that doesn’t mean I want you it’s just an honest answer

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