trigger warning:

sexual violence, physical violence, encounter with police and judicial system, mention of menstruation and  gender dysphoria

22 opportunities to bleed

(draft: last updated, December 13, 2020)

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Last month on December 20 something, 2019, my phone said it had been a year since his birthday.

That day we celebrated with a Dunkin Donut. It wasn’t a celebration, rather we just needed to get something to eat before we testified. We circled the whole courthouse hoping to find anything better than the little bodega within the building.

 

Massachusetts runs on Dunkin––

honestly I don’t get it. "Their donuts are so dry they taste like shame and regret," I thought to myself back then.

 

To be honest we went to kill time. 

 

Killing time. "It’s harmless when it’s 30 minutes, but not eleven months," I thought, looking back at him with a Dunkin donut in my mouth.

 

 

ON THIS DAY

December _, 2018​

I was blotting the blood off of my cream-colored pants in the women’s bathroom when his lawyer asked him to testify.

 

I looked pretty, and loyal and ready to speak in the women’s bathroom mirror.



 

When I got back it was over. 19 months I waited to testify but I never got to speak. 



 

The verdict: three months probation:

"a slap on the goddamn wrist," I thought to myself. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

January 1, 2020 

 

today is my first day in statistics.

 

One year and ten months.

That’s  (12 +10=22) That’s 22 periods, several skipped so he could feel like a man: 

 


 

1<-(March)  

Started dating  

2<-(April)

He told me he loved me.

 

3<-(May)   

at 4:00 am.

 

My

 

tears stained his white sheets

 

with an exhausted finals cry as his roommate plays ‘Love’ by Kendrick Lamar so loud the walls shake. 

 

Give me a run for my money

There is nobody, no one to outrun me

(Another world premier!)

So give me a run for my money

Sipping bubbly, feeling lovely

Living lovely

Just love me



 

When it plays in the line at the local coffee shop,

 

no matter if I’m wearing my tough leather coat or not, I’m that girl again,

 

the girl which I try so hard to scrub from my identity 

- archived Instagram posts

- new haircut

- smokey eyeliner

- Judith Butler

- chain necklaces


I’m naked under the sheets listening to bottles skin and a computer crash behind the dorm wall as my

 

handsome boyfriend

 

receives memory loss fighting a man so drunk it makes me believe in ghosts

 

 

for me, because I was tired and  crying over an

 

Intro to Art History

 

that I would get an A on.

 

4:44 am

 

I

 

call the cops and we run for our lives. 

 

From a 20-year-old child with a drinking problem who needed therapy, 

 

passed out on his stomach with his door open.

 

The irony of my decision haunts me. 


 

22 months

–3 months

_______________________________

=

19 opportunities to bleed in an inopportune relationship.

 

4 <-(June) we fought over me making out with girls before him, subsequently in

5 <-(July) I fantasized about another man that told me it was ok to be bi.  

6 <-(August) was dominated by racing thoughts that made that summer unclear. But I was certain I didn’t love him by

7<-(September).

 

22 {total months in relationship}

-7 months sort of happy, maybe in love {March, April, May, June, July, August, September}  

_______________________________

15 months of certain apathy and deep-seated guilt.

 

 { September, November, … }

 

Falling out of love was fast:  


 

Fast like rubbing pink eyeshadow the fuck off my face the next 

18<-(secondseptember).

Fast like the scissor snips that turned my bob into a mullet in

20<-(secondoctober)––which grew out fast enough that I was back in the women’s bathroom by the end of that month.

 

 

 

 


 

Fast like the rapid relocation of My Self into the nothingness–– 

into the somewhere,

the corner of the bed. 

 

On account of the violent dispossession of my personhood during sex. 

 

But slow like the Uber ride home.

 

 

The walk back.

 

 

 

Mirror stares,

 

 

 

who is that.

 

 

 

Slow like the way my eyeshadow palettes sometimes collected dust. 

 

 

 

Slow like coming to terms with this

 

biannual

migration

from girl

to

nothing

to boy.

Slow like killing time.

 

 

My way   out constantly delayed 

slow   

 

like

with   every

month 

of        

 

 

 

 

 waiting

watching  

 

my  queer  

 

youth 

 

 

 

 

 

die.