Passed Notes & Poems
a feature by Kristin Garth
18 & Elavil
prescribed post-sexual assault & then
perpetually dreamlife/death — no glow,
opalescent, of arms around a thin
almost-a-virgin neck & you-don’t-know-
if-he-will-kill-you-in-this-desert strange man
you met inside a van, a camping trip
reforesting protected land. That hand
misunderstanding while you slept now rips
through lips, its mate around your neck so tight.
You’re limp & wet in places he’ll dissect,
mock, mention when he shhhs. Wet cheeks, corpse white,
as arms, round pills you swallow will beget
this coed zombie he decides to phone.
That day you flush this bottle of tombstones.
I wrote this poem about my sexual assault my freshmen year at Brigham Young University. I’ve written another poem on this incident that is published at Rising Phoenix Review. It’s entitled "Puritan U", and you can read it here.
The poem Puritan U really establishes my mental state arriving at Brigham Young University. I’d never been away from “home” before, and I didn’t want to go to a religious school that I did not believe in. Begged, pleaded – even lied to my father that I’d prayed about it (as I was told to do) and that God didn’t want me to go to Utah. It was the one time in my life my Dad ever said, “Well, then God is wrong.”
Deposited in a dorm in Utah with a truckload of my belongings, I had to figure out a