Content Warning: Sexual Assault
The mulch is cold, and the sun has disappeared.
The air begins to sharpen with each quick inhale,
cutting up my lungs until
I can’t breathe.
His breath is warm against my neck,
yet my legs continue to shake,
as he pushes me against the library,
the place I always thought was safe,
my shoes catching the shrubs shielding it.
I’m melting into the sidewalk.
My limbs, clumsy, and inconsistent,
slapping away his false words,
luring me farther away.
He speaks quickly and softly,
Words, tripping over each other until
they land on deaf ears.
Whispering, murmuring, sighing.
The breeze helps him lift up my clothes
and slide his fingers against my skin.
Nature turns against me as they
work together to take advantage of me.
It seemed as though my words had struck like lightning,
but were swept under the oak’s roots,
while I cling to my mossy dress,
attempting some sort of modesty,
But it crumples under his fingers.
The trees shift their gazes,
the street lights turn off,
the bushes shield their faces,
only the sky unable to turn away.
Casey Riedel is a current student at Miami University, majoring in Creative Writing. She hopes to use her writing to raise awareness and create a feeling of camaraderie for relating readers through poetry and creative non-fiction.