this is r-culture
trigger warning: sexual assault (non-graphic)
Today is April 24th, 2021
she said a man’s stares stick to her on the ride home from work / me too a man’s voice was wormed into her with the first outfit she chose / me too their mom never got over what it means to be a mother / mine too in his mind she’s diminished to sex and a set of complaints / me too she’s exhausted from avoiding advances in alleyways / she dresses for men unconcerned about her clothes / are not comfortable she won’t walk out alone in the dark / her bed isn’t enough to bury the shame of being commodified / from catcalls she cried about the first time she kissed a girl / wasn’t enough to make her feel like anything other than a woman / watches her life turn into adolescent internet debates / about months and molestation charges and foster homes / house abuse like he learned at the hands of a lifeguard / me, us, please, it’s a sick kind of holiday / it’s not just you it’s me too me too me too
The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), organizes the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. Use the Hotline or online chat service to contact your local rape crisis center. Call at 1–800–656–4673.
Abuse Resources by State and Type of Assistance (National Sexual Violence Resource Center)
This piece takes inspiration from Ocean Vuong’s “Seventh Circle of Earth,” though I can’t fully pinpoint how or why. In the process of brainstorming and writing, I found myself returning to that poem again and again. If you’ve not yet had the privilege, read Vuong’s stunning work here. Hope you took something away from “r-culture” — I’d love to hear what you think.