I will recount each detail on paper, what he did, what he said,
where we were, where he touched me, how he looked, how he smelled.
I will take photos of the crime scene in bright light and vivid color,
mark every moment, record every bruise.
I will not brush the tangles from my hair,
I will not wash the spittle from my mouth,
I will not shower the ordeal from my body.
I will save every tear rolling down my face,
capture his sweat and saliva and semen in vials,
examine it all and publish my findings in peer-reviewed journals.
I will tell my mother, my family, my friends, my coworkers, my neighbors,
my doctor, my teachers, and random people I meet at the grocery store.
I will speak my truth, show my heart, and broadcast my story.
I will wear my trauma like a badge to proclaim the murder of my innocence.
I will name my assailant and curse him in front of his family.
I will not tell my God of my torment for she knows it well and rages with me.
I will scream my agony into dozens of Mason jars
and preserve the essence next to the peaches and pears.
I will feed my suffering to those who would deny me so they can taste my nightmare.
I will not forgive. I will never forget.
I will demand justice.
I will still not be believed.
Laura Winkelspecht is a poet and writer from Wisconsin who writes with the hope of finding some lightning among the lightning bugs. She has been published in One Sentence Poems, Clementine Poetry Journal, Millwork, and others. Laura is a Pushcart Prize nominee.
Photo by Velizar Ivanov.