on rape, stagnant pools and echoes in the void

Rape of Dinah: Giuliano Bugiardini (1475-1554)

no matter how much we protest about rape
(haven’t women been experiencing this forever,
remember Dinah in Genesis
and when we thought our marching might take back the night)
no matter how many rape laws are drafted, enacted
people imprisoned, diagnosed, decried

somewhere deep within
culture, psyche, being,
(I throw these terms around because
we have not come to grips with where rape lives)
like a stagnant pool
is the belief that women are
whores, sluts, slags

this makes me wonder then
if god is love
as so many claim
what went wrong

if god is to be worth anything
(to me, just to me,
I cannot speak for you)
god has to be glimpsed in legs wrenched apart
heard in screams
echoed in the void
recognised beyond the language of connectedness
found too in the semen-stained clothes
that don’t quite cover nakedness

but in that moment
they will have to do
there being no suitable covering
for rapist and prey
locked into awakening

it is not for nothing I cry,
o god, o god

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