I still remember my first kiss,
though I wish I didn’t.
It was sloppy, unexpected and uncomfortable.
That’s not how a kiss is supposed to be,
that’s not how someone’s lips should be caressed for the first time,
that wasn’t even a caress.
I was an eight year old
whom you thought to be asleep,
and decided that it was the perfect situation,
perfect opportunity for a kiss,
so you smashed your lips onto mine
and your tongue dripped saliva all over my lips,
which had tightened shut,
though you didn’t notice that,
the same way you didn’t notice my body tense
and reject this invasion,
because perhaps you assumed
that I liked being assaulted
with our parents in the front seat,
and perhaps you took my silence for consent,
but that wasn’t consent
that was merely the confused innocence of an eight year old
who didn’t know what to do
what to say
or what to feel;
and the only hint I had of there being something wrong
with what was happening
was the loud shriek of the woman in my head;
I didn’t quite know what she was screaming about
but her voice sounded like an animal in pain,
an animal who has been pierced by a bullet
but it doesn’t know it has been shot
because bullets don’t exist in its realm of dangers.
I was an eight year old child
and you molested me, repeatedly.
I’m eighteen now and I have never held my breasts,
because I still feel dirty every time I try to do so.
Thank you, for leaving me incapable
of checking for lumps
or just holding them for the sake of it,
because they’re a part of my body.
Thank you for robbing me of my right to my body,
I hope you’re satisfied.
You robbed my ability to ever be intimate
because I learned at a young age
that my body will never quite be my own,
that anybody, anywhere could and would impose on it
and there would be nothing I could do about it
because I don’t know what to do.
I don’t think I have the right to saying ‘no’
because I’ve never really even learned to do so.
I’ve been taught to be cautious
around every man I encounter;
I’ve been taught that not all friends are friends;
I’ve been taught that I can never truly be safe-
but you taught me that when I least expected it,
you taught me that even before I needed to learn it;
I can’t tell this to the people
who teach me about those lessons
and do everything in their power to ensure my safety
about this breach of security
because they will be shattered to hear of it.
So, I shall continue to silently smile
and convince myself that I am fine.
But I promise you,
one day I shall learn to be intimate with a man,
one day I shall touch my breasts
for the sole reason that they’re mine
and I have the right to do so;
One day, I shall learn to say no.