I was trying to think about the most appropriate thing to say
to give my condolences,
and make sense of what happened to her,
but the truth is that I can’t really understand
what it’s like to be her.
To have a boy take advantage of my silence.
I’ve known what it’s like to have someone say cruel things to me while he lie on my naked body,
to try and persuade me into things that I don’t want to do,
but never known what it’s like to have someone push themselves inside of me without my permission.
Do you see that word?
As if it doesn’t sound consensual when I write it like that.
Because it’s not.
And I don’t think “I’m sorry” is enough,
but it’s as much as I can say right now
to a woman whose body was left lying behind a dumpster.
As if her beautiful frame meant nothing,
as if the pleasure he felt outweighed the bruises between her legs,
the twigs tangled in her hair.
As if she was a blow-up doll that he left to deflate.
Her body still stands.
But her heart,
the very core of her being,
will always remember what her mind didn’t.
That her body, the vessel that she has carried with her since the day she was born
was physically abused,
taken advantage of,
treated as less than her beautiful soul.
She was raped and we can’t do a single, damn thing about it
except love her.