I Will Not by Vera Ignatowitsch

I am not a silent poet

You were not there to watch when he

‘allegedly assaulted’ me

You point out facts that you distort.

My pants were tight. My skirt was short.

My perfume sucked the rapist in.

Expensive jewelry is a sin.

I had a drink; I smoked a joint.

“Those were advertisements.” You point

to my behavior, dress, and speech

as causes of this horrid breach

of all my rights. Your helping me

is nothing but a travesty.

How dare you heap me in disgrace?

He pulled a knife. He slashed my face.

He tore my body, beat me lame,

and now you won’t release his name?

Protect his rights, but shove your blame.

I will not wear your mask of shame.

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