by Skye Wilson
You’re right – women always exaggerate.
My best friend has
been followed home,
just had to crouch
behind a bush, while bike wheels
rattled past and past again, and her dying
phone tried desperately to call her mother.
I stumbled out of my own bedroom,
all mascara and swelling and fists
of blood and tangled hair.
I sat between the table and the wall
tried to whisper that I’d told him
instead wrapped myself in guilty silence.
Every woman I know who says they have not
been assaulted follows up this statement
with exceptions: nightclubs and buses and places
of work – once, startlingly casual, a man grabbed
my tit, and I kept serving pints as his blunt hand
burned above my heart. But I am out of patience now,
though too young to be so wise to this.
A man thrust his hand into my friend’s bra
so I punched him in the face and walked her home,
knowing this response could get me killed,
just like I could die from every flinch or middle finger
at a cat caller or man who wants a kiss. As you say
though, I’m probably overstating it.
Skye Wilson is a glittery, rugby-playing feminist from Scotland. She is working towards an MSc in Creative Writing at Edinburgh University, and is most recently published in Spoken Word Scratch Night Zine in Paris, and forthcoming in From Arthur’s Seat. She is extremely bisexual. Skye loves ugly shirts, and poems about hope, fear, and belonging. Her pronouns are she/her.