Unspoken (#87)

Listing barbaric behaviors in class, for example (rape)
It should be said first. It’s thought first (rape)
But the list goes on and on: murder, slaughter, holocaust (rape)
No one raises their hands to say it, never once (rape)

“What’s missing?” Professor asks. The answer (rape)
on my mind, on everyone’s mind, but no one says it (rape)
Silence falls. He’s waiting. But still the word (rape)
is left unsaid. Unspoken but echoing louder than ever (rape)

Finally a girl raises her hand and says it (rape)
But her voice drops on the word (rape)
as if she can’t quite get it out (rape?)

Why is it that we can discuss genocide, war, but never (rape)
it, the word no one’s willing to say, to admit (rape)
the crime, the word, that is too shameful to even speak (rape)

Ripped shirts, bruised cheeks, eyes squeezed shut
Hands, stop, fists, no, screaming, fighting, giving up–

“After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend,
I have changed in their eyes.”
-Alice Sebold



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