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Police. Charges. Arraignment. Lawyers. Money. Time. Judge. Jury. Proof. His word against mine. Defendant’s attorney — a three-piece button down summa cum laude fresh from Harvard fuck-off: Did my client rape you? No. Assault you? Yes. How? With a pillow. Did you resist? Yes. Evidence? None. Witnesses? None. Did you tie him up? beat him? lock him in a fireplace? Six months for me, that animal goes free. And if I survive being locked up, then what do I do? Come home and lock myself up. Chainlock, boltlock, deadlock. And wait for him. Hear him in every creak of wood, every mouse in the wall, every twig tapping on the window. Start from sleep, 4 A.M. see something in the dark at the foot of my bed. He’s not there. This time. So then what do I do? Wait for him? Or move three thousand miles, change my name, unlist my phone, get a dog. I don’t want to taste my vomit everytime the doorbell rings. I don’t want to flinch when a man touches me. I won’t wear a goddamn whistle. I want to live my life. He’s never leaving this house.

-William Mastrosimone

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