RAPE GIRL (Excerpt II)

by Jamie Hood 



Let me try       again

You know  this story

We all do

A girl walks in to a wood
A girl walks in to a room
A girl walks in to a cave
a          lake
A girl walks in to a tomb

And there girl is  Our is-ness
inflames  Or this is what we are
told  Facticity of girl as spectacle
—from the Latin spectaculum            a public show
from spectare  to view  watch  behold from              specere  to look at

How is it only women are able to make spectacles of ourselves
Haven’t we eyes  Haven’t we a lust for a touch
of occasional razzle dazzle

In the height of the July heat one summer  I was R**ED on a busy Boston street
This body’s forehead smashed against historical cobblestone
An other’s arm choking the body’s throat
The body’s tongue tasted its own beauteous blood
The body’s mouth became a great O
The cobblestone thought to swallow the body but the body’s O mouth
was simply too damn wide  O salvation

Wonder: how many spectators spectated  doing nothing & nothing done
Think: my body has always been a public space
Rephrase: this body has always been a public space
Think: I cannot call it mine
Elaborate: there is nothing in experience that is a lie
Know:  I am no metaphysician
On my bad days I am a biological persistence
This too can be holy

While the crocus is a favorite among gardeners  it can become a weed in rock gardens
its resilience imagined as an unfortunate circumstance of mute stubbornness

Kitty Genovese was R**ED  stabbed  left for dead
Hers was a populous apartment complex  We thought someone else would call
Her assailant returned for seconds  R**ED her again  stabbed her  again
A neighbor held Kitty in her crooked arms at the end  Bless her
who ensured a final touch that was kind
We not all of us can count on that

Everywhere men stare            so wetly
Wolfman eyes in dark  A man  or a wolf
you see            it doesn’t matter

I do not need to tell you
matter is from the Latin  mater
                                                            mother                         source
origin                                                              of material

I say wolf or man isn’t of any matter
in a quite literal sense  They appear
all over  without seeming origin  Who
is your mother  Man               Tell
who gives you             Source

A girl walks in to her/self
& a man follows
This is the whole point  A man
walks in           to a girl  seeking
stillness                       finding
He stills her     Renders girl
quiet  O conquering impulse
We are instructed that this is
historically      accurate  Should I say             usual

We are the spoils
——–We didn’t know
it was wartime or                                             else wasn’t
War is man’s god in perpetuity  He creates holes
in order to fill them with himself       We are not asked
to believe or not to believe  but to be             simply cowed
This is called duty

Do not ask me to define this

A man threw a dictionary at me once
I began to vomit words all day long
It never stopped          I have a sickness
If you read this you will be
I           am                   sorry  please do not
mind                It doesn’t hurt


Every day I wake & am still in America  It is awful
It streams in through my blackout curtains  I am an insomniac

I hear men even in my dreams  They preside over me & I
must call them your honorable et cetera  They are anointed

in the underneath  Appoint one another endlessly  Confirm
each other endlessly  Demons on this earth  every one of them

I must tell you I’ve seen their sin up close  though shorn of yellowed eyes
& protrusions  their horns  I am trying to understand my rights

Each day I am reading the Constitution  to see how many amendments
tell me to get R**ED again  Please say  you hear me  say  my heavenly body

say there is another way to break from this wood  each day
I am waiting to be the girl who walked into a where & never came out of it

This is the way we live now
It always was

I told you you know this story


Jamie Hood is an ex-doctoral student, ex-hooker, and current insufferable Twitter e-girl. She’s busy finishing a book-length hybrid manuscript called RAPE GIRL. Most recently, other selections from RG were published by The Rumpus. She lives, writes, dog moms, and bartends in Brooklyn.

Two earlier sections of RG have previously appeared in Protean.

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