Someone else’s rapist

You

someone else’s rapist

lean back in client chair

shadows of survivors indented behind

it is difficult

not to want to hurl you from that sacred place

screaming; You do not have the right! Haven’t you possessed enough flesh and soul?

I place one hand over the other, as if I am

wearing plastic gloves and submerging them in

hot dish-water, doing some kind of

domestic yoga move

instead of drinking or cursing or rising up with sword.

You are physically attractive, it might make people ask

why do you need to rape? Just like they ask; Why would he rape her?

Why did she wear that short skirt? All sorts of wrong-headed pronouncements

cluttering our throats with ire.

I have seen how women write, to prisoners like you

fascinated by the ‘bad boy,’ even marrying you

you, who would chop them into little red

pieces and eat them, if they only

could find a decent frying pan.

Maybe it is like having a tiger behind a cage

his heaving, ancient, lustrous fur, intoxicating sanity.

I do not pretend to understand

although I know we are strange, muddled creatures

the mechanisms of desire, who is to judge?

The one who wishes to be urinated on, beaten

savagely, tied up and left for dead, or

marry Ted Bundy on a Tuesday?

There are surely, limits, I think, as you

boldly express your hyperbole repentance

and I silently disbelieve your every word.

I am thinking; It’s therapy like this rotten apple, looking shiny on the outside,

that is dismal and false, chewing out the center of our profession

where sociopaths play with

good intentioned rules like

greedy children with plastic building blocks.

I have no doubt, if you were truly

alone with me and not

an emergency button away

hanging loosely from my slender neck

you’d bite me until my skin became

a map of welts and hurt, leaving a necklace of rose blooms, then

drive yourself through me like an

arrow, I will never forget the piercing of

and whilst you feel your pleasure in lies

I am disgusted that I have to bear witness

to your play acting, as surely no woman living

should have to hear anything you have to say

ever again.

There are times, being who I am

isn’t what I want and

I’d rather peal off this weary ‘caring’ suit

wear red tights with a monacle and no bra

drink peach schnapes at mid-day with one olive

my legs flung over afghan sofa

fingers pushing lovers between my legs.

But we become who we are, and I am

the psychotherapist who must at ten am see

rapists

as they abuse the system the way they

butchered women’s bodies

tasting the scars like livid memories

on their ugly thin lips of denial and delight.

I don’t ask you why you did it

I know as well as you, and do not want

to hear your false apologies, you are no more

repentant than the lion, who having eaten his

fill, will sit in the sun sated, licking his thick fur

clean.

I want to apologize to the women

I shall see later on

who inherit this contaminated ghost-world chair

though I clean it after you have left

your stink remains in my mind

as your poisonous choices infiltrate this supposed sanctuary

and I feel your hands on me like glue, as if you were not

slouching in front of me, but pealing

your clothes off and rushing your terror

in my face.

We are after all, only

a thin surface of respectability in a

hidden gleaming jungle of pretense,

if the lights were to dim

if the others forgot I was working late

one day, you’d quietly like a lynx, lock my door

and cut me to pieces with the

hatred in your emptied eyes.

I know, you see, what it feels like to have

a dagger thrust through your body, filled with damage

a mind of repulsion, set on repeat

the disgust creatures like you, leave women like me

to deal with, deep in our Kintsugi psyches.

This is why I sit here, knowing if I

turn you down, I lose my job , yet aware you will not

from me, receive favor or even, compassion

I do not have any.

I would, if I could

turn violence against you

damn you to torment yourself

but, I suspect that will happen one day

when you drop your soap, in the cinder-block showers.

if that makes me Old Testament

I’m okay with that

you see, I never signed up for victimhood

I carry a knife in my loose sleeve

longer than your worst horrors

you are deficient in your belief

you are still a menace, we have

already begun the war, you have already fallen

to our rebuke

if I’m judged for this, I will remind people

choices leave scars, as hunters do

and we who survive

will turn our scars outward

never again

let ourselves be lost

to the predator who thinks

he can outwit the deer

Gandhi said; An eye for an eye leaves

the whole world blind,

I have learned, I can see

in the dark.

21 thoughts on “Someone else’s rapist

  1. I have seen clients in a jail, but I am glad none were for that reason. No, I was there to sort the truly ill in need of another sort of confinement from the McMurphies thinking the Cuckoo’s Nest a better perch. Still, through the layers of locked doors I went to sit in a very small room with the inmate. My mind paints a vivid picture of this encounter.

  2. I thought of you as I wrote it. I wondered if you had. We had a grant where we had to see rapists as well as survivors which I personally thought was f**ked but that’s how it was so you could not really turn them down. I know someone has to though … I get that I really do. I just don’t want to be that person. I don’t possess that type of compassion or belief in redemption. I guess I really am Old Testament but after seeing clients at the rape crisis that long it was hard not to be biased.

  3. I think there are some men who can come to understand that they have been operating in a dangerous understanding of the sexual relationship, and learn a new one. Others cannot. They are sociopaths and narcissists who truly believe they can take what they want and use the bodies and minds of others as they please. That sort will not change. They don’t see the point of it and don’t care, but they will lie about it. Or, they have been taught that men are supposed to, divinely mandated, to dominate and control women. They are unlikely to change short of a full blown religious conversion.

    I find myself wishing in recent years that Trauma Informed Therapy had been more of a thing when I was working with the severely mentally ill population.

  4. We are after all, only

    a thin surface of respectability in a

    hidden gleaming jungle of pretense

    Sadly this is true and yet it shouldn’t be. At some point I dream that humanity will reach the heights it is capable of reaching. Until then there is no place in our world for abusers (of any ilk).

  5. There is much to absorb and process in this that I literally could not respond when I read it for the first time yesterday. You probably don’t need me to say this, but it should be posted on Blood Into Ink and Whisper and the Roar. And hanging on walls and etched in glass for anyone of us who have sat in your chair.

  6. Could not agree more my friend Chris could not agree more. Of course there are predators of both genders and I did not reflect that in my poem which I ought to have done, as I am by no means a man-hater just a hater of people who do harm. I appreciate you

  7. I do too. to be fair. I should have said that. Because I do believe that. ULtimately. I just get tired of how many times we give chances to those who do not. And how few are prosecuted and brought to ‘justice’ etc. I also agree a religious conversion is not always sufficient reason in my book – I agree with you about TIT very much so (just realized what TIT looks like and giggled)

  8. Oh yes, that made my flesh crawl and bile rise in my throat. You’re amazingly talented, and brave: I could not sit in that chair (& I did study social work at uni years ago). I’m grateful you could transform that experience with your creativity, and share it with humble fans such as I ❤ G

  9. You are so awesomely kind- I’d love to- that would be a dream coming true- I am visiting a couple of short stories now actually, so am feeling reinspired- that old relationship drained my muse a bit (should have taken that as a sign! 🙄😖) ❤️

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