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Saturday, June 25, 2022


by Emma Rhodes

I’m in a courtroom with him in my dreams.
Years live, tangible and growing inside of me.
Stench rotting from the inside out makes me gag, and

the judge thinks I drink and doesn’t believe a word I say.
As things rot, their appearance, smell, stories change. 
Leave something to fester long enough it becomes absence, 
memories warp but sickness remains. 
We beg you to believe our guts even when they stink.
There is a constant drip on the windshield of this car. The evidence is shown 
through the screen so it’s water-warped & memory-warped & 
dream-warped but he doesn’t deny a thing
The jury appreciates his honesty, his charm. 
Court takes a break. He says we need to play laser-tag—the judge said so. 
That can’t be true and yet suddenly I’m shot by light from all angles, 
put me under a spotlight and call me a liar.
The water continues to drip on the windshield.
They tell me I had the means to get out. Look at me now. Just drive away they say. Just drive away if it was so bad why didn’t you leave but facing the other wall is a boot on the wheel and I am stuck in his bed, his bathtub, pacing the one single hallway while he left in a car to see 
his parents (who are so proud of him, by the way. He was always a great boy.)
And Taylor Swift hasn’t said anything this time, none of the #MeToo baddies have spoken.
The water on the windshield breaks through and shatters. 
Glass shards in the courtroom. Everyone yells 
And I am left. Picking up one shard after another. He walks by, stomps on a shard so it crumbles into a million more (another inconsistency), says 
“thanks for keeping me around.”
I’ll stop writing about violence when I stop seeing it. 
I’ll stop writing about violence when the world stops trying to kill its women.  

Emma Rhodes is an emerging Queer writer currently living on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee people. Her work has been published in places such as Prism International, Plenitude, Riddle Fence, and elsewhere.