Rape Is a Gun

August 28, 20174 min read

It is never untimely to speak up about the issues in rape culture. For those unaware of the definition, rape culture is normalizing sexual assault and abuse. As in, blaming the victim of assualt with a list of excuses that doesn’t fault the attacker in the slightest. A couple events inspired me to write this poem. Emily Doe as well as a girl I will not name, but I’ve known her for years and seeing her ultimately distressed at the sight of her attacker brings me nothing but anger. In school, I’d noticed her loud and happy voice lower until she wouldn’t even show up for days at time. These girls have been violated in every sense of the word and the first reactions put them at fault. Is that ever okay? Sexual assualt is in the hands of an attacker and it tears away a large portion of the victims’ lives. As far as I’m concerned: No means no, and unconcious means definitely not.

It doesn’t require a gun

to take someone’s life.

She doesn’t have to conscious for her Earth to turn to nothing but dirt.

She can wake up and suddenly the shining sun is a burning fire,

and walking down the stairs is walking into a grave.


When she wakes they mutter, “You were dancing so provocatively.”

She mutters, “I wasn’t awake.”

They mutter, “He was aching for you.”

She mutters, “I wasn’t awake.”

They scream, “His career is at stake!”


He thinks he’s the victim of being called a rapist

but she is the victim of a rapist

and that fact alone

does not suffice.


It matters none

that she is now a body

tugging the rest of

her heart

her hope

her happiness

behind her in a bright yellow wagon.


“No, no, no, she was a virgin and now she has experience.”

“No, no, no, she slept with the football team so she couldn’t possibly mind adding one more to the fun.”

“No, no, no, she told me she wanted it.”

“Well–what did she say?”

“She smiled.”


There is nothing

she desires more

than to replant herself completely

but twenty minutes of action

is not enough

to kill her entire flower.

It is just enough

to rip a few petals from her flower.


Growing petals from a stem

is assigning personality

based on looks.

You can’t glance in a book

and read how to regrow yourself

when half of you is on the shelf.


But she’s desperate to try again

so she rips out her stem

and plants her seed in cement

because the place she’s been growing in

is far too unsafe

so she is forced

to put her faith

into a place

that will tighten around her life

but she can’t tell the difference.


They say

he meant to love but cut

and hug but choked.

Soon she’d be in the ground

because he’d bury her

in so much love.


But she got away with only a few petals lost

and has to deal with the

absence of beauty

he plucked from her flower.


And this new life

that he forced down her throat

somehow reverses

and suddenly his mistakes

are ripped clothes to be sewn back together

and justice is debated on whether

her clothes

were easy enough to rip.

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Marie Melendez

I'm a novelist and poet who drinks way too much coffee and reads way too many books.