Preyed

 

Whispers penetrate flesh walls,
secrets resound like a melody
within the temple of mind.

A church choir of boys
sing Latin,
a tongue they never understood,
yet made beautiful in spite.

An angelic host of innocence,
perched in perfect rows;
perverse men licking dry lips
conduct harmony, as
chorus echoes in rounds
confined by marble stone
laid by hypocritical hands.

In time holy walls stand,
coffers full and overflowing
while souls remain empty.

Yet pride crumbles the benevolent,
corrupt tongues stumble awkwardly
over the dulled ivory teeth of time.

Stained glass fragments let in truth,
rays of light stream through darkness
reflecting a shattered faith sanctuary
built upon broken bones of man.

 

©Sabrina Escorcio
September 2017

Photo Credit, Sam Webber illustration for “the Priest That Preyed” – New York Times

 

In Case You Still Don’t Understand Consent-Jessica Boyles

 

This was no one-night stand
I’ve had drunken sex that I regretted
Or not
Too many times for mom to read about here
This was not that
This was different
With a one-night stand
I may have made some questionable choices
But they were my own choices

You made the choice to get drunk
You made the choice to flirt with this guy
True
I did
I also chose to eat a salad and wear red socks
How do any of those things forfeit my right to sex with consent
Here’s the thing about consent
It can only be given when your brain is functioning
It is the presence of a yes
Not the absence of a no
Do we need to start signing documents to begin getting this right

I don’t know a lot of things about that night
I have no memory
I will never know
Whether or not I was drugged
Turns out
Decisions to go to a SARC unit
Don’t always coincide with the life of a drug in your bloodstream
I will never know
Whether both of the guys in the hotel room where I woke up had sex with me
I will never know
How my glasses got broken
Why I had bruises all over my legs

Here is what I do know
If I wasn’t drugged
I was drunk to the point of confusion
Slurred speech
Falling over
Passing out
I also know
When I see someone like that coming out of a bar
I help them out
Hail a cab
Drive them home
In the absence of those actions
I leave them alone and hope they stay safe.

What I don’t do
Is take them back to my hotel room and have sex with them


I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

How I Drown- Jessica Boyles

 

The first wave was a sneaker
A rogue
Smacked my back and sent me flailing
Without warning
Without a chance to gasp

The second wave took its time
Built momentum
With a deep sucking inhalation
It engulfed me
One with its water wall it charged us forward
Carrying me with locomotive fury
Slammed my body
Limp kelp slapping sand

The third and fourth waves hit in immediate succession
No chance to breach the surface
Desperate panic as lungs cannot wait it out
Breathe in the chaos
Lungs laden with brine

After that
The weight of dread in my belly
Held me under all on its own


I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

Dangerous- Jessica Boyles

 

Never knowing
Steal some shoes
What is coming
Drive Drunk
When it’s coming
An explosion
Spew my venom
Of hate and anger
Spit on a cop
I lose control
Cause pain
Fuck some dicks
Bring grief
Lick some pussy
Betray beliefs
In between
Take some pills
Clean up my messes
Slice my arms
And hate myself

I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

 

Exquisitely Numb-Jessica Boyles

 

Withdraw
Pull away
Go missing
Find control
In emptiness
Lay quietly
Stare at the wall
Rest in the absence
A disappearance
A melting away
Stillness welcomes me
Into undemanding arms


I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

The Girl who Freezes/Jessica Boyles

 

She makes me see
Flashing images
She makes me feel
Pressure, burning and pain
She makes me hear
Their voices
She makes me smell
Body odor and cologne
She makes me taste
Bitterness

Because
She
Freezes

She
Did nothing
Tasted nothing
Smelled nothing
Heard nothing
Felt nothing
Saw nothing

Fight or flight
Are not the only options


I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

Child Welfare- Christine Ray

I am in a child welfare class

In graduate school
Class starts at 4 pm
The room is crowded and dim
My classmates and I are drowsy
We all could use a snack
Some caffeine

The professor puts on a film
A surprisingly graphic film
About child sexual abuse
I am fine
I am fine
I am fine
And then I am not fine
I am rushing out of the classroom
In a cold sweat
Heart thudding
Hands shaking

I just make it to the ladies room
And the privacy of a stall
Before I vomit my lunch up
In the ancient, cracked toilet
I have never used the words
Sexual abuse
In relationship to myself before
But my body is telling me a different narrative
As I shake, white in the 3rd floor bathroom

I have had lovers
Who are sexual abuse survivors
I have always told myself
That what happened to me was not like
What happened to them
That drifting on the ceiling
Doing my grocery list my head
While having sex
Was normal

That my constant need for control
Was normal
That my inability to let anyone touch me
When I am feeling vulnerable
Was normal
That the fact that I cannot look at pictures of myself from
Certain parts of my childhood
Without wanting to be sick
Was normal
That I first wanted to die when I was 12 years old
Was normal

As I fight my panic in the bathroom
Praying that no one else will need to use it
I am finally forced to admit to myself that
Maybe this is not normal
This unnerves me
Makes my world feel upside down
It takes me some time
To regulate my heartbeat
Calm my breathing
Splash water on my face
And school my expression into something
That resembles functioning adult
Before returning to class
And watching the rest of that damn film

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved