Last night I was raped
5 times
in my dreams.
It was more deadening than death,
more violent
than murder.
It brings no excitement, arousal or romance.
It is atrocious no
savage no
barbarous no
contemptible no
monstrous no
heinous no
an enormity
All the words for this crime have connotations of mystique, of
the exotic, of
Rape is not attractive.
It's as ugly as syphilis or herpes.
You can't get rid of it once you got it.
It's with you always in recurring outbreaks
There were three men.
The third was overcome with distaste
at the sight of my blood
and walked away heaving.
He didn't come back for the second round.
That's why it was only
5 times.
I don't dream of being raped.
But rape haunts my dreams
because I am a woman.


Because I am a woman
I can type
and walk in heels
faster than any man.
I can shake my hips from side to side
while carrying a gallon of pocketbook
and avoiding stray
harassing every cat
that moves
any thing that crosses
his path.
It's because I am a woman
that I can sometimes get a free drink at the bar
or a free cup of coffee
or a free anything if the checkout guy thinks I'm cute.
Because I am a woman
I am not serious
ly taken
but I am had
if at all possible.
It is definitely because I am a woman
that I must wear hose
and not use them
to water gardens
or wash cars.
And because I am a woman
I will mind my own
when the black boys mm-hmmm my walk,
when the chicanos rub up against me,
when the white wall street
converses with me
with his prick.
When the needy, the homeless tell me
to watch out because I'm good-looking,
I know it's because I'm a woman.

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