Un-naming a Thing
Limbs pinned or slack, body relaxed, under attack, stiff hard smack. Darkness. A little dizzy, language escaping, the word no, its siblings: not right now, I don’t know, wait, please, stop. And if he doesn’t? Some ventriloquy, mouth moving, not my hand up my back. The mime itself. Not gagged or bound. Or I am, figuratively. In the room with twin beds, not mine or his. A little nervous laughter. A burp where something comes up. And I push it down. Swallow the whole incident. A bad taste in my mouth. And if my body betrays me and if it does not. If I’m able to fight or go limp, hands gripping coverlet, tearing at his flesh or not. I don’t want to wear the scarlet V. There’s something in not naming an act. Calling it a random hook up. Excusing the incident. Avoiding his house. His friends. But can I call it that? If he stopped. Does he need to cum? Is there a time limit? Whereas rape is three-minutes or more of nonconsensual sex. Whereas rape must result in ejaculation. Whereas there was digital penetration of the vagina and/or unwanted penetration by the penis. Husk of a girl, corn-silk hair fanned on the bed. Still wearing most of my clothes. Maybe those boots. The ones I got for my birthday. No matching bra and underwear, bikini cut from the Target sale rack. I didn’t say no, but I said I wasn’t ready. I said I wasn’t ready. Nothing personal or maybe it is. Was I already wounded? A gazelle with a limp. Something about me vulnerable. And now, as if he’d taken a nickel between his thumb and forefinger and scratched the silver coating off. Revealing what? Triple sevens. Rotten cherries. Lemons. A horseshoe upside down.
About the Writer
Emari DiGiorgio’s first full-length collection The Things a Body Might Become is forthcoming from ELJ Editions in July 2017. She’s received residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Sundress Academy for the Arts, and Rivendell Writers’ Colony, and a poetry fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She teaches at Stockton University, is a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet, and hosts World Above, a monthly reading series in Atlantic City, NJ.