by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
This is a story that matters, so listen. I’ma tell it. I am in the courthouse, a big, old, wooden room, counting the last seconds of my freedom as they tick away .
“Sticks and stones may break my bones,” the judge says in our sentencing. He tells us that’s what we should have thought when the man threatened to rape us, came at us on the street. “Sticks and stones” was the command that should have traveled like blood from our brains to our bodies. Not DUCK, not BLOCK, not PROTECT YOURSELF, YOUR GIRL. As though “I’ll fuck you straight” was just a pack of words.
“Words don’t justify hurting a human being” he says.
I wonder if either of them will ever know how hard it is to think human, to behuman, when someone is threatening to knock, force, fuck the you out of you.
I will be nineteen tomorrow. The next time I am able to run through a sprinkler on my mother’s street, kiss my girlfriend in a quiet room, make myself a turkey sandwich, dance or sing with no one watching, I will be thirty. I will never remember a bloody knife in my hand. No one will ever have to prove it was there.
Blue Talk and Love is now available on Amazon.