TW for sexual assault
I never thought of myself as a survivor / just in the wrong place at the wrong time / don’t get in an elevator with someone who makes you uncomfortable, just take the stairs
his first kiss, my first sexual assault / go home smelling like the teenager I never was / like ferment, like July, like sin / my doctor asks if I’m sexually active and I say no / she says I didn’t think so / I didn’t think so either
my first boyfriend did things like drive 90 mph on I-80 / said want me to do it with my eyes closed? / my first boyfriend did things like fuck me anyway when I lied about a headache / so I learned ceiling patterns / counted the slats in the Venetian blinds / want me to do it with my eyes closed?
the first time a man who isn’t my father hits me it’s because I won’t say that I love him during a one-night stand / or maybe that wasn’t the first time / maybe the first time was when a man says makes me wonder what your childhood was like when I tell him it’s okay to hit me during sex / he slaps me so hard that I see white / but I don’t use the safeword
the first time with an older man is in a fast food parking lot / stomach swollen with silicone chicken, body trembles like cartoon jello mold always about to fall / insert laugh track / I don’t want this but he calls me so sexy so beautiful so gorgeous / so I pretend to want this
the first time I’m a victim, I say that I’m not / I say that it’s all just a misunderstanding
I never thought of myself as a survivor / I am over fifty percent star tissue scar tissue / I call it self-destruction
Rebecca Kokitus is a poet residing in the Philadelphia area. She is a student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she studies English with a concentration in Writing. Her work has been published and is forthcoming in over a dozen literary journals. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @rxbxcca_anna, and you can read more of her writing on her website: https://rebeccakokitus.