Content warning for descriptions of sexual assault
I woke, feeling your hands on me
in the dark.
Sigh of relief—
you had not touched me like that in months.
It was always the demand of me hurting you.
“forcing” you to piss on the floor.
Cleaning it as “aftercare”.
The pure punishment of fury when I dared to whisper,
(after practicing it for days,
wondering if I would have the nerve)
“have you ever heard the phrase
"topping from the bottom’?”
God, I suffered for that—
not even worth the slight sense
when I saw the look in your eyes
of someone called out.
But now you kneed my legs apart, pushed in,
and I finally relaxed for a moment.
A few strokes and you reached past me,
to the cord of the light, snick of it turning on.
You were wearing a mask.
A mask of an old man, burned in a fire.
I said no.
Tried to pull back and laugh a bit,
like it was a joke.
“No, baby, take it off.
You held me down.
The combination of sleep and darkness
and confusion was disturbing.
I closed my eyes.
One of your hands touched my face,
pried my eye open.
You made me stare at the not-you,
tears falling from the eye
I could not blink.
I said no, tried to close myself off
but you kept on.
Called me names.
Said I liked it,
not knowing who it was,
I was only a whore.
You finished while I cried.
I got up and fed the cats,
Later, you stopped,
fork almost to mouth,
I know you needed that.
I didn’t know about masks
Didn’t know your regular face
was the mask,
that eventually when I looked
your face would
like something I had never
Melanie recently left South Florida after 13 years to return to South Carolina, where she is enjoying drives to the mountains and seasons other than summer. She is working on a psychology degree so she can help others who have been through abuse and trauma. Her biggest joy is finally having a peaceful home with her son and their three cats.