Detachment was my lifeboat,
accept defeat and imagine my favorite colors meshing
together without getting muddy—the initial cries
subdue to the clenching of teeth. The chilling sensation
of anxious, hot breath, jars me back.
“No one will believe her anyway. She’s a slut.”
13—wore eyeliner, had kissed three boys;
I earned my title. I wanted attention and got
it—half conscious, on a dog bed. Bruised, bleeding,
runny mascara, braces; my reflection in the mirror,
nauseating. The glimmering prospect of love and
intimacy, fuck it. The next month, a new
boyfriend, 3 years older. “Babe, yu r so hot.” My
heartbeat was palpable, hands shaking, stomach
churning—I slithered out my window into darkness
to meet him; the beach was deserted. He, unaware
that I was already high, drugged me; he underestimated
me. Perhaps it was my foaming at the mouth that aroused
him, or the vomit I spewed into my lap. My skin was
pins and needles before all went black. I came to in the
hospital, 48 hours later. A Sunday. The following Monday
marked my first day of 8th grade. I broke my silence
in October and was sent to rehab.
“Do you see what your addiction has done to you?”
It was because of the alcohol, because I
chose the alcohol. To wake each morning,
look in the mirror, be forced to stare into the eyes
of the real perpetrator, and want to kill her.
SALLY HEGGEMAN is a senior at Indian Springs School. Her favorite subjects are English and art. She plans on pursuing visual arts in college.
Curatorial note: The following poems are a response to a call for poetry about rape culture for the annual Delirious Advent Feature; the call is in turn an immediate response to the Rolling Stone story “A Rape on Campus” about rape culture at the University of Virginia. However, they are also part of a larger conversation about rape in poetry communities. Curated by Jessica Smith and Susana Gardner.