If You Touch Me

I just wanted a slice of pizza.
I just wanted to soothe the hunger
Developing within.
For once acting utilitarian
About feeding myself
As a woman.
I wonder if I had the smell
Of hunger on me
Dripping off me like a perfume
Pheromones indicating the
Weakest selection in the joint
Because this guy
All sweat and anger
Came up to me and started
Sweet talking
Trying to buy me out like
I got tickets to Broadway shows.
Where you from sweetheart?
Give me your number.
Every woman alive recognizes
The look
The uncomfortable shifting
The stutter
The appeasement towards
Male aggression like
Negotiations in a court room.
Proposal: How about you
Give me your number
And I’ll call you?
No, he said, no you
Give me your number now and I’ll
Call you so you have mine.
Without being able to think
Because it’s impossible to think
In situations like these
But just focus on the anger
Just focus on the I’ll play it
Cool, I’ll pretend this is all
In between ordering my slice
And a Diet Coke he called
and told me he’d give me a call
Tomorrow around 9am.
I’ll be working. Because
I’ll be working.
Because I needed safety.
Because no one else there
Stood up.
Because I can’t stand up
When he’s all
Over me and I just wanted to
Go home and have some food
And maybe shower because
I felt disgusting like
What I did to impose him
Upon myself.
When he left with a sigh
Of relief for everyone in
The goddamn restaurant
I grabbed my slice
From the cashier’s sympathetic
Eyes and walked over to
A ledge so I could block
His number while biting into
My pizza all shaken and wondering
What I did to encourage this
As I sat the city closed
In on itself
Fear rising from the grates
Like steam from the
Filling the air with
An echo of grime.
No longer a threat
But just the memory thereof.

Author: Erica V.

Always seriously joking and rambunctiously soft-spoken.

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