No!

I said, “no.” But it was ignored.
They say that’s the definition of rape.
But wait! I was married to you!
So that makes you entitled.
Surely saying, “no,” was just my way of being coy.
As far as clothing, I was wearing nothing.
Who needs a slutty dress when you have a birthday suit?
How provocative! That’s not rape. Right?
Who would believe my no?
Not you. Clearly.

I said, “no.” But it was ignored.
I said it two or three times.
But you climbed atop me anyway,
Too heavy to push off,
Too strong to physically stop.
I didn’t fight. So, it’s not rape. Right?
My silence and nakedness was consent enough for you.

I said, “no.” But it was ignored.
I thought of the children at the other end of the hall.
They’d heard us argue so many times.
I didn’t want to cry out.
I didn’t want to start a fight.
So, I looked away and detached, wishing you’d just get done.
I submitted. So that can’t be rape. Right?
My acquiescence was consent enough for you.

I said, “no.” But it was ignored.
I got up angrily when you finished,
And got into the shower.
You joined me without asking,
And asked me what my problem was as I sulked.
“I said ‘no,'” I stated. “And you didn’t stop.”
Your face was enraged. “Are you accusing me of rape?!”
I lowered my eyes.
I said, “no,” and left it to be ignored.

 

About Nicole Pace

Nichole Pace is a non-traditional student pursuing an Associate of Arts in English, with aspirations of teaching composition and literature at a post-secondary level. She's currently working full time, and raising four teenagers in a blended family. She's survived early childhood sex abuse, and domestic violence. She uses writing to catch snapshots of her life in the present, and as a therapeutic tool to work through her past.
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