Doctor's Appointment 

My doctor says sex isn't supposed to hurt

But I am throbbing and thrashing

Like a fish caught in a tiger's jaws

"Except it is your first time." She says

I think my first time was around nine.

And I have spent every waking breath

Trying to blow away the particles of that gnashing memory,

Like how my mother blew away the news.

Me, a fly buzzing in her ear 

When I told her.

Doctor asks if I have any experience with assault

And I can't bring myself to whisper the word back at her.

It was never a word I had used to describe it,

It always drew a frown, furrowed brows from my mother.

She would dust my thighs and my eyes,

Scraping every piece of dirt from the surface of my skin.

Renewing me

So she will never have to explain to her friends

Why I am so quiet,

So she can deny like Peter did Jesus

Every encounter with the police.

And doctor stares at me, waiting for an answer,

But waiting for me to respond was

Like waiting for him to stop - it never

Happened. And I want to tell doctor

She is blessed; I want to pray for her

That her skin will never know the feel of grime

And waterfalls of guilt, unwanted,

Will never gush from her inner thighs.

And doctor frowns. She asks me

If I have been raped.

I do not know what she means,

The word leaves her mouth and scrambles in the air

Before reaching my ears.

Have I ever been torn to shreds

 And glued back together with saliva?

Have I ever been stabbed with knives of molten lava

Wielded by the hands that once stroked my hair?

Have I ever, ever drowned in a desert of agony,

My screams a cry into the vacant chasm

Only a melody to the people who could hear?

Yes. But I do not know what rape is,

It has never been defined or described.

But I want doctor to think she is good at her job

So I will tell her yesterday was my first,

Though I hope it will be my last.

And that my pain is in my private part,

When it has been oozing from my pores.

I will say it was in the moment, brief

When it's been eternal, everlasting, long suffering.

Doctor smiles. 

Esther Bewaji is a book lover living in Nigeria with her husband, a mushroom shaped teddy bear. She aspires to be a critically acclaimed author and filmmaker. Her works have appeared in F(r)iction magazine, Alcott Youth Magazine and And Gallons Magazine.