By Nadia Leiby

Annie tells me under the cool blue light

about the boy that stole something from her
before she had the chance
to give it away.
It is the first time the word ‘rape’ leaves her lips
and she is not crying or yelling or angry.
She is just raw.
The night Lindsay has flashbacks to her assault,
drunk and high and cautious,
I am unable to hold her.
She sobs about her shame and how
he was supposed to love her
and she was too fucked up to say no.
She swears it’s her fault for losing control.
I tell her a consent cliche while remembering her
head smashing against the toilet.
When Jesse raped a girl two years younger than us
after he cut us out of his life,
I felt like my soul was ripped from my body.
How could someone I loved and knew so well
do something so despicable?
The other night I talked about how I missed him in therapy,
wished he was dead,
wished I never found out.
On the way home I sobbed to The Front Bottoms
and watched the sun set through my windshield.