I’m primary school age
and it’s pitch black outside
a man pulls me from under my bed
and shines a torch in my eyes.
(I’ve blanked out what happens after but I still feel those wandering hands)
I’m in my teens
and boys don’t care if I come
they just force my head down
and I choke till they’re done.
(When I start learning whose pleasure I’m good for)
I’ve started self harming
the boy I’m with doesn’t care
he just takes off my jeans
ignores the fresh cuts that are there.
(When I start treating myself how they make me feel)
It’s my boyfriend’s nineteenth
we’re at the pub and he’s pissed
he’s talking porn with his mates
and bragging about the girls on his list.
(When I start paying more attention to where my hair grows)
Now I’m locked in a room
and this guy is touching my thighs
when I tell my boyfriend ‘I was assaulted at work today’
why do I feel the need to apologise?
(When I quit my job and I’m blamed for us being skint)
Not till my best friend and I are twenty four
does she tell me about her brother
I want to get a knife
and stab that manipulative motherfucker.
(When she still has to spend every Christmas with him)
Now I’m having sex and this guy
shoves himself inside me and it hurts
I yelp out with the pain
but he carries on. I’m unheard.
(When it’s never about when I’m ready)
Let me introduce you to Alex
it’s our second date
I tell him no
but I guess that’s not how you stop a rape.
It happened three times that night
then it finally stops
when I tell the police
they ask me if I came and offer to ‘tell him off’.
(When the system doesn’t believe you)
There’s more where these came from
but by now you should have the message;
when is sex about respect for women’s bodies, a loving touch or gentle caresses?
What is society teaching young women
about their own worth
when research shows we describe ‘good sex’
as ‘without physical or emotional pain’ first?
I refuse to serve jail time
for acts of war I didn’t commit
there’s a wild woman raging inside me
and she will not let you hear the end of this.
Until it is the end of it.
Fuck silence, watch me break out into song.
I am a poet from the North of England and began writing in 2017 and performing my work in 2018. I have been published in ‘A Catalogue of Failure’ and in ‘Further Within Darkness and Light’ (out June 2018, published by Nothing Books).
I write at Under Compulsion Poetry. You can also follow me on Instagram @undercompulsionpoetry.