swamp monster – Eddy Funkhouser

when it happens in 2009 you wonder
you wonder if it was
quite right
quite appropriate
quite consensual

being drunk
being reckless
not physically resisting
you must have consented

you tamp it all way down
bury the monster
with mounds of sex
(definitely consensual sex) (definitely bad sex)

the legality changes in 2013
the federal definition of rape updates
for the first time in eighty years

the new definition is
“penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”

the United States recognizes that
rape doesn’t have to be “violent”
they don’t know all rape is violent
the Department of Justice removes
the word “forcible”
the phrase “against her will”

in the announcement the Department of Justice writes
“a victim can be incapacitated and thus unable to consent because of ingestion of drugs or alcohol… Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.”

you read about the updated definition in your feminism class
underneath the mounds of sex
(definitely consensual sex) (definitely bad sex)
something awakens
a swamp monster arises from the depths
shedding layers of algae and condoms and duckweed
she stands up and dwarfs the wetland
dwarfs the last four years
dwarfs your conviction that you are okay  
she starts screaming
she doesn’t stop

you finally consider for a moment
that you were assaulted
that you were raped
that a monster was birthed in you
she won’t stop screaming

you try to keep the course
bury her in sex  
(definitely consensual sex) (definitely bad sex)
rebuild the layers
to blanket the swamp monster
suffocate her in sweaty sheets
at least muffle the screaming

the screaming intensifies

you tell someone
you say rape
your friends already know
they were waiting for you

now you want to scream so you do
and you and the swamp monster scream together
neither of you stops

sometimes one or both of you takes a breath to tell your therapist about 2009
sometimes one or both of you quiets a little
sometimes one or both of you stops screaming
sometimes one or both of you whimpers a little

the swamp monster is still here but not as loud
not buried in sex
(definitely consensual sex) (definitely bad sex)

you’re not friends but not enemies either
sometimes one or both of you nods to the other on the street as you pass
acquaintances bound together by shared screaming

Eddy Funkhouser
Eddy Funkhouser is a queer non-binary urban farmer and garden educator living in San Francisco, CA. Their work can be found in Dirty Girls Magazine, Beyond Bloodlines, Awakened Voices, Stonewall’s Legacy, and Written on the Body.

Defeat of the sun by the Night King
Mixed Media Paper and Digital
Yousef Kazerooni

Yousef Kazerooni
Yousef is a queer artist who grew up in Iran. After immigrating in his early twenties, CCSF became his home. He found an international community of students, and traveled to different parts of the world. Yousef is a storyteller and his work is inspired by mixing different cultures and traditions.

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