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 

facing sun.

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 

in flight.

 

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

away.

 

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.