[ ] Culture

Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, or refusing to acknowledge the harm of some forms of sexual violence.*

Rape, you are an animal.
The media gives you cookies,
you’ve grown fat, snarling from the cave.
I open my eyes to your terror.

Your world has been created.
We need to cut the power to your brightness,
lights flicker, this lightning is not fireflies
wild against dark sky, waiting for palms to cup.

We need more sound. To open our chests, display
lungs and let out the words.
Women, your screams, even muffled,
weren’t silent. They grow inside, canyons of dirty sound.

Victims drive to therapy,
they lose sleep, they harbor PTSD,
they hush as rose petals
that fall from the flower.

They are statistics silent on a page,
the ant crawls up your leg,
slap and he’s dead, silenced for existing.

…………………………………..1 out of every 6 American women: has been the victim of an
…………………………………..attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.**

I am 1 out of 6 American women.
Teenager. He exists. Has children.
He probably doesn’t seem the monster
that has broken the way silence
arcs inside me.

Not many know this of me.
I open my mouth to speak the words,
it blooms like bloody heads crowning,
it’s a release, my face hot and shamed.
The words, stone birds sitting on a wire,
unable to make bleak sounds
of warning.

My silence, the place I hide, overgrown
with weeds, they smell fresh,
shaking their seeds from green heads.

Now it’s laid out like a snake suddenly
on a table, I want to cut off the head,
feed it to my rapist in the dark.

And when he screams NO,
maybe I’ll take it out or maybe
I’ll make him eat it
with open eyes.

Duck Face_LiliusSarah Lilius lives in Arlington, VA where she’s a poet, a mother, an editor, and a wife. She’s tired of hiding and her website is sarahlilius.com.