Sexual Assault

afghan prison

photo: Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press)

I cannot live without you—my soul.
Why is rape my punishment in this prison?
Do they not understand

Dignity is my soul?

Like water running
to the sea,
self-worth won’t return to me.
I grieve
despite others’ compassion.
Why?
No one can give me my dignity back.

Poor man, they say.
Yes, he was raped.
so sad, so bad.
Poor man,
they say.
So sorry he lost his dignity.

I suffer shame,
begin to sink
in the isolated water of insult
because I have lost the breath of life—
Dignity, Dignity.

We are human, have high position
among the animals. We claim
intellect, say we know
what is good, what is bad
and inhumane. Tell me,
Dignity, are not my captors human too?
How is it they forget their own humanity—
within the human heap?

I cannot speak this to my family,
friends or captors, not even to you, Dignity,
for you are gone now.

I throw myself
into the river,
drown, without you.

By Freshta


Comments

  1. you must learn to forgive the person who did you wrong

  2. Vliet Tiptree says:

    Let me just clarify and focus Andy’s statement: you must learn to forgive the man who raped you, destroyed your self-worth and dignity, and caused you to commit suicide. Women have to feel sorry for their rapists.

    As Adrienne Rich, an American poet, wrote:
    you have the power in your hands
    you control our lives -
    why do you want our pity too?

    I can’t think of a word low enough to describe a demand that the subject of this poem, driven to suicide, “learn to forgive” a rapist.

    This murder of women’s souls has to stop.

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