Locker Room Talk

Trigger warning: Sexual assault

My sister gets a Facebook apology

For the loss of a virginity

She doesn’t remember losing

She says

How can she be upset

By something she doesn’t remember?

I sit there triggered

By something I can’t forget

Am still running from too

What would my message look like

If you bothered to send one?

Do you remember it like I do?

Memory is foggy

I know

All shrouded with our friendship

All limbs slack

Liquor-sealed lips

My nice Friend

Now full of violation

I remember greasy hands

All over me

Leaving smudges in their wake

I remember lying face down

As you peeled back my skirt

Feeling like flower forced to bloom

Suffocating on my pillow

But being so grateful

I didn’t have to see your hungry eyes

I remember realizing

Just because my memories stopped

Doesn’t mean you did

I hope you did

My throat is too clogged

With trust fermented to ask

I hope I forget the silence

The overwhelming silence

Put on like a suit of armor

Only to realize it kept me from moving

You knew everyone

So I felt no one could know

First

I was furious with the world

With my world that teaches you

Getting me drunk is foreplay

My world that says

Not being able to consent

Is a drunken mistake

To brush under the blankets

To forget about and move on

Like that is some easy thing

With my world of slam poetry

That makes me choose

Between this poem and the newest one

Because rape is overdone on stage

And two rapes back to back

Don’t score well

If I blame the world

If I look past you and me

I don’t have to look at you or me

My anger can be faceless

Systematic

Not the face of a friend

It’s too hard to admit

I don’t know how to be angry

At someone I cared for

Too hard to say

I’ve had to rewrite this poem

So many times to stop making it sound

Like a bouquet of apologies

I sent to our friends

Condolences for your bad behavior

I have a stage called freedom

And your story

Still comes out sometimes

I still get choked up on your reputation

I’m afraid our friends will take your side

I’m afraid to make it clear

There are sides to this

But forgiveness sounds a lot

Like a fish sliding off a hook

So what do I do

When the hook of a poem

Is more important than admitting

Uncertainty on how to handle this

I want to be a Me Too warrior

How can I?

When I’m still devastated

By the silence in my inbox

About the author
Talia is a poet and author who performs in the Philadelphia area. Follow Talia on Instagram or read more articles from Talia on Thought Catalog.

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