Taking Advantage

TW: Sexual Assault

But that afternoon he asked himself, with his infinite capacity for illusion, if such pitiless indifference might not be a subterfuge for hiding the torments of love.

Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

 

 

 

You mined her pizza-stuffed body unreservedly,

Equal parts violent,

Equal parts tender.

She didn’t tell you it hurt.

She was just grateful you remembered her name.

You were experiment number three,

Packing and unpacking her,

Stuffing her hesitant, ragdoll limbs with optimistic greed.

 

The doctor asks, was it penetrative?

She’s unsure what to say,

Because you were mental above physical,

Spiritual, above mental.

Today your face is sun-kissed and carefree,

Today she realises you penetrated her soul,

And she cries, curled like  a snail’s shell,

Because – well, you wanted to talk and she didn’t.

She should [will] stop living by the rules.

 

She was unsure whether her brothers and sisters would welcome her,

But she was taught to go through God, not man.

Man showed her law,

God showed her grace,

She slept free of shame.

 

But one month later, she feels her body,

All one hundred-and-something pounds of it,

It feels like guilt when it hangs

heavy like a burden.

 

He apologised –

No, not quite.

He was good at that – making his words sound apologetic

Without ever uttering the word.

“I hope you don’t think I took advantage.”

She infers, one year later,

That he sobered midway,

and decided continuing was a good idea.

He was experiment number one,

the reason for the others who followed.

 

Experiment number two cannot be remembered,

It is improper. Wrong. An act of betrayal.

But she needs to remember, at least once.

She remembers the fear of the word “no”.

She is sorry for the hypocrisy,

And she is sorry that he was your husband.

And she is perplexed that his hands know a body,

ashamed of its own mother.

She’d never rejected a man from the bed so assertively.

 

She is the common denominator,

And in this form she is free from didacticism,

free to blame herself.

 

The terrible paradox is that she is the experiment.

She always has been.

Her one-hundred-and-something body,

hanging heavy like wet clothes,

doesn’t know how to be otherwise.

Because dirty old men in pubs inspire spoken word.

MENCHA 

The guitar hasn’t been played for seven years and twenty nine days. It lies on its side, lovelessly leaking.

At every pub crawl, I ask the poor lost soul, Paul, what he plans on doing with such an instrument.

He shrugs, says ‘nought’ with northern affectation, pours me another cider, grins wider then shuffles away.

This pub is called Mencha. I do not understand. I ask the poor lost soul, Paul, exactly why it is so called, but he has to pass as he washes the glass and unsticks my elbow from the bar so he can wipe down the surface.

He says. “You ask too many questions.” 

It’s just my conscience and liquor and me, and the smoke that wafts in from the back gardens.

My fingers itch to get at the strings but there are not six, just four, so instead I ask for more cider.

Hello darlin’. 

I glance to my right, and consider my options:

To flight or,

To fight.

But my glass is half full, so I remain seated and politely ask the stranger:

Can I help you? 

His laser eyes glide over me, as though my clothes are wrapping and my flesh is a prize.

I grip the glass harder and consider smashing it over his head.

Don’t be like that darlin’. Would you like a drink?

Inform ignorant imbecile I have already obtained one. He nudges his friend.  Too hard. Imbrues his jacket with brew. Laughter ensues.

I grip the glass tighter.

The guitar is lying lovelessly. 

You’re so pretty. Come here often, darlin’?

Charming.

Pause to consider age gap – at least thirty years.

I move to sit beside the guitar in the corner of the dusty, musty bar.

He follows.

His eyes are unfocused and he’s dazed from the whisky that he continues to tilt down his throat. A layer of grease coats his coat, and he reaches out a hand and –  

I jerk back, irked, tell jerk to jerk off, go beserk.

A low note vibrates, shakes the air around us.

He smirks and theorises:

Darlin’, don’t be a prude. Just making conversation. 

A conversation instigated with his eyes and continued with his hands. What an inspirational, sensational conversationalist.

He surmises:

You must be a lesbian.

Runs a hand over his cold, bald, egg-shaped head, sniffs, miffed, downs the drink, heads out the bar, friends in tow.

I watch them go, pondering my newfound sexuality.

I replace the guitar. You can’t tell it was ever shaken.

Agápē’s Apprentice

You are the reason I create;

You are the author and pioneer of all art

You are the universal need of the soul,

You satiate our soul’s hunger.

 

I create because I want to.

No.

I create because I want to

REFLECT YOU.

 

“The person I have for you, will love with My love.”

Their actions =/= Your actions

THEY WILL POSSESS A PERFECT LOVE

sometimes hidden by clay constantly corrected;

They are an artist – not The Artist.

But tonight I caught a glimpse of

What it is to love someone –

As though my heart was the rubber skin of a balloon

stretching in my chest.

 

I will not fight too hard,

though the enemy adapts to my gained understanding.

I will not be anxious,

Because Your peace transcends understanding.

I will proudly be weak,

Because sufficient grace gives me strength and standing.

I will not fall,

Because on solid rock I am standing.

You have crowned my head

And clothed my body in armour.

Cherish. |Love.| L’amour. 

 

We create

Because You first created.

We are dust.

Our sinews sewn from words

spoken by the greatest Poet,

our stories etched on palms,

our poems scrawled in the Book of Life.

 

It’s a shame we mistake romance,

For Your love could be romantic,

If we understood what true Love is.

 

Grecian philosophy is anchored in You;

We do not create.

We imitate.