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as yet untitled - Ele

These words are for longing to

Be returned to belonging

To hear sorry

I’m sorry it happened

And I’m sorry for nothing

It was you


One day

You will feel the weight of your sorry as it slides along, crawls through and vomits itself out of the hole between your nostrils and your chin

Sorry it happened

And sorry for everything

This body was mine before it was yours

I’ve since fallen in love but I still cannot fall asleep

I’m sorry for nothing

Sorry you didn’t

You didn’t say sorry


The whole room is watching

And it’s easier to call crazy

Easier for you and easier for the world to hold onto the story where good men don’t -

Politics gets torn between the world as it is and the world as it should be, lacking the self-awareness to realise that its sole task is to navigate the two

- Good men don’t rape bad women and

Good men certainly don’t rape good women because

Good men are good and

good boys don’t cry

and they certainly don’t rape

and if they really have to do one or the other

they’ll choose tears

every time


So instead there are Good men and confused women and rape cases that never close

My rape case never closed

It sits under my bed, next to the shoebox for my first boyfriend, spilling over with papers

I still have the knickers


When the room became a court room it was easier to ask is eight years fair

Than is what I did fair

I appreciate that being asked whether you took someone’s body is difficult

Because rape is difficult


Listen to it. Hear the word; rape. Hear how difficult

Hear yourself

Rape and apologise


Because rape is difficult

Especially after you’ve put your dick away and now you’re just a very sorry human being sorry in a court room across from a woman who is was and forever will be naked

No bruises no trace no funeral


Women rarely forgive men who kill other women even when the men are their sons

But what if the woman in question still inhabits the machinations of meat that constitute what it is to have a body but not to be alive in it

What do we say to her?

Her voice

My voice

Your voice

- ’s ‘she’s crazy’ came louder than I could speak my ‘this is my body’

Because there are few occasions when I’ve had to say it exert it lay it bare and naked in the cold for you to spit on

This is my body

This is my own


I touch my stomach and I cry for I am soft and I am warm, I am alive and I am grateful

I beat


I will forever remember waking to your hand in mine

Not clutching at fingers or squeezing at digits but entering

A body which you did not know

Not your hand in my hand but your hand in my body

That body was mine and I am tired of the hail


I used to sleep so kindly that my unconscious body let you fit your fingers inside me before I woke

My mouth will never be so relaxed as to allow you the same

I will not leave space for you nor breath for you

You spat on my body when you did what you did

I do not need to see beyond reasonable doubt in times new Roman-anything

Existing was enough existing is enough existing will always be enough


This is my body

I am proud to reek with self-respect

I am unashamed

Slug off you hairless caterpillar


"The first time afterwards that I saw a raised loo seat I laughed and I cried simultaneously. It was merely the gentlest of reminders that there exist people in the world who pee in the same way as him. The first time afterwards that I put pen to paper, I described him as a ‘hairless caterpillar.’ Total venom twinned with the laughable insult of a child. Sexual assault has left me flooded with fear whilst being the first to say that the fear is often laughable. Able to articulate that the fear is there for good reason whilst being able to see that the fear is unreasonable. I feel entirely unreasonable. Words and, in particular, poems - where the words don’t have to form victim impact statements or testimony or even full sentences - have helped me cope and capture how I feel. To realise that it's allowed to both be terrified of pee streams into loo basins and find that fact hilarious. I wrote these words because I’m angry and I’m tired and the viciousness with which I first wrote the words ‘hairless caterpillar’ still sums it up best."

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