Max

“Former Stanford Swimmer to be Charged With Rape”
“Every 107 Seconds, Another American is Sexually Assaulted”
“Acton Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting 9 Year Old Boy”
“98% of Rapists Will Never Spend a Day in Jail”

“Rape Victim Who Set Herself Ablaze Dies”

Yesterday, I was drunk and today, I was told that my case is no longer open. Roughly three times a week, I still return to the parts of my mind you so easily took a sledgehammer to, stretching out my body over roads like a chalk outline of a crime scene while the slow blue buzz from too many beers and too little sleep tag-teams my neurons making it a little bit harder to peel myself from the asphalt.

I can’t always tell the difference between high beams and holy light.

I think about you all the time.

On nights I carry my body to bed instead of hurdling it over a bridge, on nights I tuck myself in and sing lullabies to myself even when my voice is hoarse from screaming “My God, why!” to the night skies; on nights I light candles like signal flares instead of like matchsticks to gasoline trails, I wonder if you think of me, too.

I wonder if you even know my name.

I wonder if you know that the third time I broke my arm, it was because I tripped on a crack in a sidewalk or that I won the spelling bee in eighth grade or that even after nineteen years of fall leaves showing me how to fall apart, it’s still hard for me to turn pain into art.

I wonder if you know how hard it is to want to stay alive.

Some mornings, I wake up swinging. I crack knuckles in the same way you cracked all solid ground and I wonder if you know how hard it is to want to stay alive.

Yesterday, I was drunk and today, I was told that you won and, one day, I hope you know what it feels like to understand that a shape cannot exist without a shift.