How It Feels to Have A Sexual Predator on the Supreme Court

 

When I hear about a Great White Shark

attacking someone on Cape Cod

My first thought is always

what did he do to provoke the shark?

Is this why so many people’s first response

when hearing a woman was raped

is to ask what she was wearing?

Or was she drunk?

 

Anita Hill followed Clarence Thomas to her second job

Though years later she told white men in the Senate

about his lewd comments and groping

If you were sexually harassed, they said, why did you follow him?    

 

Shira says that on her first date with her husband

she didn’t want to have sex.

He didn’t even use a condom

Still, she doesn’t call it rape. 

A decade and two children later, 

they are getting divorced. 

Maybe that’s why I never wanted to have sex, she tells me.

 

Katherine and I are driving and listening to a podcast

a woman recalls thinking at least I’m not being murdered

while having sex with her lover.

Katherine confesses to me that her first husband

raped her every time they had sex.

She had to lie to convince her family, herself

It was okay to leave.

 

When Donald Trump was elected president

so many people asked how this could happen

while in therapist’s office’s women confided

he seemed familiar.

He was the husband, the father,

the uncle, the neighbor, the pastor

they had known all their lives.

They’d come to accept this was how men were:

Boys will be boys.

 

11,417 sharks are killed by humans every hour

While 82 sharks per year kill some unlucky swimmer

The shark was here first.

The shark doesn’t come with cruise ships and spears

The shark is just trying to survive. 

 

Three decades after Anita Hill

Women are starting to say

Me too

Another sexual predator is seated

on the Supreme Court

The men are asking the same questions

 

But women are asking

Why should boys be like this?

Should we let men be like this?

How did we let it go this long?

How can we leave?

 

About the Poet

Eve Lyons, is a poet and fiction writer living in the Boston area. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Lilith, Hip Mama, Literary Mama, Mutha magazine, Dead Mule of Southern Literature, other literary magazines and several anthologies.  Her first poetry collection is forthcoming in May of 2020 by WordTech Communications.