I’ve never been raped.

By: Anonymous

I’ve never been raped.

Not in your technical dry as dust definition: Penetration no matter how slight of the vagina or anus with any body part or object or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person without the consent of the victim.

I’ve never been raped.
But I hurt in my heart for those who have.

No I’ve never been raped.

But I remember at age 4, being grabbed by you, a grown man, held down and tickled, begging you to stop until I couldn’t breathe.

Just as I thought I would die from lack of air, I summoned up enough breath to say, “I will pee on you.”

Still, you did not stop until I gathered enough strength to pee on you, even though I didn’t have to. I remember the sly smirk on your wife’s face as she said, “Well she warned you.”

But I was never raped.

No I’ve never been raped.

But I remember the two boys who grabbed me at age 7 as I walked home for lunch from school (yes we could do that in those days). One of them lived in his family’s business, a funeral parlor, and they threatened to tie me up and hide me downstairs with the dead people. I fought and I screamed and sat down on the sidewalk, but they dragged me along. Until one of them saw my tears of fear and said, “We have to let her go.” And the one whose family owned the funeral parlor didn’t want to but he couldn’t pull it off without the other boy.

But I was never raped.

As later I refused to go back to school. My mom received a phone call and afterwards said it was the funeral parlor boy’s mother and the other boy, the one who let me go, told her what they did. She said she had talk to them and they would never do it again. My mother telling me I would have to go back to school and how I begged her not to make me. She said I had to. I had to go back and face my abductors and I remember the look on her face like I was the one to blame.

But I was never raped.

One day at age 10, I walked that same street home from school. The street was under repair and workmen were in the street. Two boys came out of the house as I passed. They were younger than me and asked for my help with getting a broken wagon to the garage. Suddenly , as I entered the yard, an older boy showed up. The three of them began dragging me to the back of the house, threatening to throw me in the cellar and lock the door. I screamed for help as they carried me by arms and legs. I thrashed and fought while the men working in the street just laughed.

I began to cry and the older boy, I will never know why, decided to let me go.

Walking home another boy saw me crying and came up to me. I told him to go away, but he just offered me a piece of gum and asked me to sit down. We split a piece of juicy fruit and he just sat next to me in silence until the tears passed. I wonder all these years later if it was him showing up and witnessing my shame that scared the other boys into letting me go.

But I was not raped.

No, I was never raped, but came close one night at 17. A party in the woods, a kegger. I had to go to the bathroom and was told to go to the woods on the other side of the parking area. Walking past a car, the door opened and a large man pulled me in and began attacking me, trying to get my clothes off. He was older, in his 20s, big and strong. I fought, but could not get away. So I told him he would be accused of statutory rape because I was only 17. “I don’t believe it,” he said. “Look at my drivers license,” I said, defiance in my voice. He saw I was serious and let me go.

But I was not raped.

No, I was not raped when you invited me to your Pentecostal church, you on my left your wife on my right as she began speaking in tongues.  Later you told me how jealous you were of your wife because she got the spirit and you didn’t. But the spirit had told you we were meant to be together and you used your religion and adulthood to seduce me on the front seat of your family car.

But I was not raped.

No, I was not raped, when again at age 17, you, a friendly acquaintance called me over to your car and asked me to look in and see what you had on the seat. You pulled me in through the window and sped down the highway and told me you would throw me out at 70 mph unless I gave you oral sex. And afterwards you drove to pick up your girlfriend, whom you called “No No Nanette.” And she knew and I knew that I was the young bait to make her stop saying no.

No, I was not raped when my husband and I walked into a mutual friend’s wedding dressed in our finest and his best friend undressed me with his eyes and said, “Oh girl you look fine tonight.” Said it in a way that let me know I could not trust to be alone with him. It was then I decided to be fat.

I was not raped. But all of you have shown me by your actions you consider my body just a tool for your own satisfaction, that there is not a soul in this human package that can be frightened, scared, or shamed, only taken. No, I was not raped. Assaulted, bullied, used, crimes of sexual violence, but not raped.

Why doesn’t it feel that way?

[smile]

By: Jenuine Poetess

“c’mon baby, why don’t you smile?  just give me one smile!”

“hey mami, show me that pretty smile!”

walking down the street
i wear my fuckyou face
i learned to put it on
with the rest of my outfit
because wearing an open face
a friendly face
invites too much attention
no
walking the streets
taking the bus
existing while being female
has required a
different kind of face
one where i make my eyes go dead
and drain out all their light
i make people into ghosts
staring right through them
(some people take too many liberties
with eye contact)

i set my mouth hard
serious and unmoving

too soft
and they seem kissable
too warm
and people trespass

my smile is my secret weapon
it lights up rooms
changes moods
my smile is home to
those i love
and my home is not open
to everyone

my smile is my own
no one can demand it

i own the power that comes
with giving or
withholding my smile

they call me a bitch
in different languages
puta
whore
cunt
if it wouldn’t kill me
i’d laugh at their
fickle
changing
selves
in an instant of disobedience
their sweet and charming
becomes
a furious, venomous
snake

i have grown hard
but i rather be a
safe bitch
than a
sorry woman

i learned to harden my face
my features
places inside me
when i learned the price
i must pay
for owning soft curves
and for having the
audacity
to take up space in the world

for too long i had made myself
less
quiet
nothing

in the end
i rather relinquish
the softness of my smile
than any square inch
of my being

My body.

By: Cassie L. Smith

Let me teach you a lesson on the English language
This sentence structure isn’t open for interpretation
I am not a long-dead author open for dissection
Like a butterfly pinned to the wall for your affection
Like your high school English teacher forcing you to determine if blue means blue
When all the author meant was stay true to you
I am living
I am real
I am standing in front of you listening to you screw with my language
Enough.
My body.
Period.
Full stop.
End of a sentence.
It isn’t a welcome or an entrance
For you to elongate this sentence.
It’s my body.
And yet you continue,
My body doesn’t meet you standards.
My body isn’t what you prefer.
My body fails to meet this preconceived notion of what is ideal.
Stop.
End of sentence.
I am the accumulation of my failings, successes, bravery and, willingness to love
I am beautiful, determined, dedicated and consist of
Nothing that involves your opinion.
So, stop.
It’s my body.
End of sentence.

Unsilent Blog Monthly Spotlights

The Unsilent blog will consider non-fiction narratives (in the form of poetry, prose, personal essay, memoir, etc) on any subject at any time.

Sometimes people like to plan ahead or have a theme/goal to work toward.  Somtimes courage needs a little heads up.  To that end, please peruse the loose schedule of spotlighted topics for each month throughout the year (if we’re missing any important themes please be sure to let us know)!

At the start of each month, we’ll post a call for narratives and list the themes spotlighted for that month.  Again, we will consider and publish non-fiction narratives on any theme or topic at any time; you don’t have to wait for the month.

JANUARY
• Codependency
• Slavery & Human Trafficking
• Psychological / Emotional Abuse

FEBRUARY
• Black Lives Matter
• Teen Dating Violence
• Intimate Partner Violence
• Bloodstories

MARCH
• Womyn’s Herstories
• Deaf Culture & Experience
• Self-care & Radical acts of Self Love

APRIL
• Autism Acceptance
• Arab-American Experience & Identity
• Child Abuse
• Sexual Assault

MAY
• Mental Health
• Lupus/Invisible Illnesses
• Asian-Pacific Experience & Identity
• Spiritual Abuse

JUNE
• LGBTQ PRIDE
• Belief/Faith stories of inclusion/exclusion
• Eating/Feeding Disorders

JULY
• Abilities/Disabilities Acceptance
• Migration Experiences
• Body Image
• Illness and/or Injury

AUGUST
• Survivor Stories
• Parenting & Child-Free Identities
• Community Violence

SEPTEMBER
• Latinx/Hispanic Experience & Identity
• Suicide
• Self-Harm

OCTOBER
• Cancer
• Domestic Violence
• Infant Loss & Miscarriage
• Bullying

NOVEMBER
• Police Brutality
• Racism
• Indigenous/Aboriginal/First Nations Experience & Identity
• PTSD

DECEMBER
• Family
• Trans* Experience & Identity
• Peace & Global Violence
• Grief & Loss

To sum up: please for sure do send in your truths.  Any time.  Any topic. As often as you need to.

Pulse

By: C. T. H.

when you speak
your words wrap
tight hands
around my gasping throat
stifling me in
choking silence

when you look
your calculating eyes
over my body
surveying the geography
you think you own
your greedy gaze
scorches

when you touch
your poison arrows
wither life
traces of death
scarring everywhere your
fingers
trespass

i am here
against nightmare odds
every breath a rebellion
every
heart.
pounding.
pulse.
a revolution