Consent, however, there was never such a thing.
As if when a boy teased you, it only meant he liked you,
And if you teased back, you’d disappear. As if
being called slut made you taller,
and whore restored your voice – magic, see ?
As if you fear of men could make you
walk on water, their touch could split you in half –
Long division (cherry pie filling), two selves never to meet again.
As if you could no longer breathe underwater,
surfacing, no longer an option. You’d spit
and sputter and do the mat. The equation adds up :
Asking for it + asking for it = deserving it. If A, then B.
Add. Subtract. Divide. Go forth, multiply.
Let them spin lead into gold,
speak secret names for God,
antiseptic, wind, water on your skin, eroding your hoodoo body…
It’s all perfectly sane, normal even : predator/prey. Kingdom Animalia.
As if rape is never really rape, As if you were quiet, quite quiet, then very, very loud.
Texte publié dans le No 35. Encrages et recollages
First published in The Fiddlehead, no 291, spring 2022
Translated and reproduced with the author’s permission