When they found out,
they looked at me like a museum exhibit.
all history and artefact,
cause and consequence of an artist’s anger or sadness or heartbreak,
He did a paint-by-number on me.
One in four girls will be sexually assaulted on a college campus.
In one night,
I went from student to statistic,
But every statistic has a story.
Most people have heard the one that starts with a few drinks and ends with a rape kit.
But it begins with billboards and news feeds of people having the time of their lives, this can be you, they whisper through their dead eyes,
but you focus on their smiles.
And it continues.
One in four girls will have panic attacks on public transit because they will see the face of their nightmares board the bus and take a seat near the front, they will close their eyes and forget how to breathe until it gets off.
One in four girls will flinch when you touch their shoulders from behind because their bodies have become minefields.
One in four girls will skip class after class out of fear, out of anxiety, out of inability to get out of bed in the morning,
they will breakdown in showers, they will shiver in towels, and they will hide under their covers for just one more day.
Just one more day.
We are modern art instalments, some man’s greatest accomplishment,
they hear his side of the story and become revisionists,
we don’t belong to ourselves anymore.
We are pinned up for the world to be gawk at
until they read the plaque and
scoff, because “there’s nothing new,” to see here,
Moved momentarily until they move on to the next one.