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FIVE Steps

The FIVE steps for a potential rapist:  


Step One: convince your victim to attempt
an avalanche of alcohol down his throat
wink to your friends
wait until they chokes and drag them
to the peak of the mountain,
where two roads diverge and
they stumbles over their words
and forgets the snow-painted mile markers.

Step Two: lead them to the futon by the fire place
underneath the wilted mistletoes –

you have used as an alibi for far too long

whisper hot chocolate in their ear
as you try to start a campfire
in their ripped Levi jeans
begin to generate fallacies
to dispute their budding claims
when they learn spring is almost here. 


Step Three: turn up the volume on the record player
playing Silent Night and place a fresh sheet of snow over their body
to absorb those sound waves and moans
place their head on the pillow

taste their innocence
melt away down a river of your fantasies

fuel your jungle fever.


Step Four: suffocate them with evergreen leaves
to cover your bourbon-scented
cologne lingering on his body. If they come back to their senses,
kiss them on the neck

and expose their naked body to pneumonia  
as they cough up your remains
make them think they liked it.

Step Five: text him an apology because it’s the only way you’ll
be able to move on to the next season.


The FIVE steps to a rape kit:

Step one: you wake up the next morning to an
atonement you quickly dismiss. throw your phone down in
frustration because sex was the last thing on your mind

begin to think what if you had taken the road less traveled

what scars would you have to prove who you are still you?  


Step two: hold onto that apology as tight as melting ice
as your body reminds you of the weight of trauma. carve blame

in your shoulder like a snow angel in the middle of an Artic

blast, use the skin graft from strangers to keep you warm

Step three: lather, rinse, and repeat the memories
try your best to wash them out

scratch your dry scalp, wonder if it really happened
peel back the scars. flashback to step one as
the emergency lights in the cabin fade.


Step four: dwell in the dark for a little while. use aurora borealis as
a night light. find the beauty and irony in loneliness.
don’t rush your healing. don’t hush your feelings.
stand in the moonlight. feel.


Step five: forgive him because it’s the only way
you’ll be able to appreciate winter again.


- poem by Tyquan Morton, Prevention and Inclusion Specialist, SCCADVASA

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