I didn’t say anything when I was eleven and wore a Tinker Bell shirt.
You asked me what it said and tried to touch the breasts I didn’t even know I had.
When I looked scared and tried to pull away you said you were only trying to flirt.
You were older, had a beard, and might have been older than my dad.
At eighteen I had my first sip of vodka and you waited for me to finish it.
“I thought you’d never finish that drink,” you said, and wouldn’t let me walk away.
I felt rude if I left, bad you bought me a drink, and I didn’t want to look like I was having a fit.
You wouldn’t stop texting me when I escaped and you followed me around the next day.
At twenty-three you looked at art with me and waited till the coast was clear.
You had complimented my dress, grabbed my arm, and then pulled me into a vacant space.
I didn’t scream. I didn’t yell, but I pushed hard even as I was drowning in fear.
I punched you and got away, but know I left vowing to never go back to that place.
And now at twenty-seven, I go out less at night and still shake as I recall my tales.
I try to wear a brave face and act as though nothing ever bothers me,
But brave women coming forward and sharing awful encounters about some males
Has given this poet the courage to recall my story and set it free.
Jasmine D. Lowe is a former Bakersfield native and current Communications Specialist who works and lives in Orange County, California. The Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Fullerton alum spends her free time running, writing, and drinking way too much coffee. You can read more of her writing on her blog at jazzedaboutstuff.com.