me too

me too

this poem has no statute of limitations
but what good would a statute do
when my accused have no trending social media accounts
and some are probably even dead
and not many people will even hear this podcast
i am talking into a pillow
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
where to even begin
the first time it happened i was in grammar school
is this how a child should learn about other bodies
and if not, how then should they learn
because i can never go back to the beginning of me
but it would be nice to know that there’s another way
even if it would feel more like a fairytale
never coming true
and one thing, in my experience, is for certain
it’s absolutely not just men perpetuating
and not just women who understand the shame and isolation
of hashtag me too
this game of pick the next accused and victim
playing out in media is triggering to say the least
and waking up every morning to a predator in chief
is debilitating
but the real sentence is in the living
the little moments when you wonder how life could be
if your sexuality had been chosen
and not this diseased and harmed thing
haunting you along
or the bigger moments
where predators show up between you and the ones you love
with their predators showing up too
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
the second time it happened right out on the street
as a man’s hand crawled all the way up my school uniform skirt
right on the street just passing by my school
and i had to go right back to school after lunch
not even being able to tell anyone
i didn’t see the need it was all my fault
it had to have been me, after all
or my uniform skirt or where i was walking or was i paying enough attention
it had to have been me, don’t you see
hasn’t it always been you, after all
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
one time it happened it happened with a girlfriend
when i had had too much to drink
have you ever had a no go on mute
when out of your mouth it felt like screaming
but how could it possibly be assault
when i recognized the bed the circumstance and the girl
they say it’s not about sex but about power
i have known some of the most powerful people in the world
haven’t you met them yourself
maybe instead of years of shame and self loathing i should have been getting autographs
maybe i should take a white house tour
i am sure i would recognize the temporary resident
from a mile away
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
there have been times i felt so bad about myself
it’s been hard to carry on
but not hard to pair with older women way before my time
and pair with violence, giving up my most special gifts and love
with undeserving thems
making mixtapes for girls who didn’t know what music even was
and because this is my biggest wound
i focused on them when i should have focused on myself
and now i am 45 years behind on an unpublished story
the story of me
but now i can make up for some time
since my last relationship was built on two sides of this equation
and scared me half to death
intimately
now i can hang out in my little safe cocoon
and solve my own math equations
and calculate what i can mean in this world and to whom
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
will i always be
scarred from what these pieces of shit
decided to take
will i always be making up excuses
as a will to live
will i always see myself in the reflection
of the pane of glass separating me
from the normalcy of friends’ weddings and children and summer vacations
will i always be crying over news stories
of women having the courage
before it’s too late
will i always mourn the touches lost
before i was able to feel them
will i always regret the little bit of wine i’ve needed
before spending intimate time with those i’ve trusted in
will i always be looking at the photograph
of her face, the one that meant the most
not being able to reach out
with a promise that there is a different road for us
that we could travel back in time
and undo the harm done to us
that we perpetrated throughout the relationship
toward each other in a cycle
the mix of our realities sticks in my throat
the never-ending amazing well of trust mixed with such red hot injury
stuck in a cycle because we recognize
the childhood trapped
in each other’s eyes
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
in my experience
everything is trapped under this wreckage
harvey weinstein
i am eight again
or maybe ten
charlie rose
i am at that job
where a coworker forced himself upon me
kevin spacey
is the story my male friend told me
about someone in a position of authority
al franken
i loved my girlfriend at the time
the very night i said no thank you
roy moore
did my childhood have to include such horror
how is it possible to vote someone in
who devastated those little girls
louis ck
i knew a guy who thought he was funny too
and could get away with anything with anyone
the piece of garbage president
you represent all of them
the childhood dance
walking back to school
forced at work into a back room
tipsy with a girlfriend and not wanting to
they are all rewarded one by one
purple hearts for taking my courage
and i am forced to attend
the awards ceremony
on a loop
it starts playing every morning
right after the three seconds of peace
of not recalling
the world we’re living in
when i wake up a second time
it’s to the applause the incomprehensible
part of this country
decided you deserved
to protect the lives of fetuses
more than the lives of living young girls
or to protect their own racism
at the cost of this country’s greatest commodity
the innocence of each of all its people
and i am stuck in a clockwork orange room with the intellectuals
the liberal elite
who don’t feel quite elite
feeling the scars of their assaults play out one by one
eyeballs held open with the sticks of the nightly sexual assault rifles
of all your ugly faces and excuses and apologies
i wish that bus had run you over
and that what you said about assaulting women drained out of your thick skull like blood on the pavement
i wish that your running for president
would have triggered them instead
the louises, the kevins, the charlies, the als, the roys and the donalds
embarrassed that you would have ever been considered
imagine if instead you were shamed for your access hollywood tape
imagine if both you and billy were fired
in your own words
imagine if instead you all became warning labels
for other men
don’t act like these guys and you will win
imagine if another president in their acceptance speech had gotten to say
sexual assault is not what made this country great
that we never ever would have voted you in
but instead we live in this alternate reality
where the truth is assault is nothing new
and what’s true isn’t winning against you and your crew
the sights and sounds of the news are, in and of themselves, violating
and while you sit with your feet up on the desk
of a place built by slaves’ hands
that one of the most gentile and intelligent black men to ever walk
got to fight for and win
and ooze your disgrace on an international level
and manipulate our fate like a puppet on the strings
of the most hateful white men in america
we’ll be out here reliving and living our own personal hells
and filling out our xanax prescriptions like good little statehood elves
and trying to live with the triggers as they come
second by second by second still
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
i will never dress in all white and marry my high school sweetheart
and instead of counting on basic protections
ladies and gentlemen, we will just have to protect ourselves
and create a hashtag project for our own survival
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times
and you out there reading and listening i am so sorry to hear and read and know about
your own harassment and assault but this poem is a safe space and we are in this together
me too me three me four me five me a thousand times me too

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