Birds of Prey
*TW for Sexual Assault
I imagine that before rape I
was without shame. Like a
raptor, a common buzzard, singing
boldly into the north
Shining - a sanguine thing.
But that was then.
They said say uncle and I
did but it was uncle hands,
and uncle sharp teeth. Uncle gnawed
fingernails. Now I say uncle and
it haunts me. I can’t get the
word out without it sliding
back down my throat. A dry wretch
to adorn the terror. A sparrow hawk
There was a lullaby to his violence.
A fierce rhythm. Can this hold
any warmth? No. It is just the fever
dream I have for something softer. A
sand pit where my hands
are mine alone. Don’t touch my shovel;
don’t look at my sandcastle. Red kite,
black kite. So long as I can fly
Imagine a world if stop meant anything
Your hands on my concave chest. Convince
myself this is just CPR. Wait until it’s
over until I cry. The wails stop as suddenly
as they began. I am Osprey, hidden
in the undergrowth.
I am a grown girl now.
You groan and fall off me. This is how
I know it is over. My wings are bent,
misshaped things. Tomorrow brings sunrise
and sunrise brings
the vow it will it start again.
Bio: Rebecca Egan is a psychology student from Melbourne, Australia. Her work is published or forthcoming in 3Elements, Bones, 34th Parallel, Thimble, Peeking Cat and Persephone’s Daughters.