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For Emily Doe: Brock Turner's Victim This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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She had to reach inside herself
and pull out pine needles. They stuck to
her inner thighs, where his fingers had first grazed,
trailing up. The lights in a police station
post-rape are jarring.

She looked through slitted eyes
and faced a dumpster staring back,
her mouth reeking of stale beer and blood.

The cool infinity of last night loops
into a tightly-knotted ribbon of forever,
a graveyard of bruised hips and phantom touches.

When the story stretched wider than
the picturesque Stanford campus, ivy-covered walls that distract from dark dumpsters,
a news anchor gave the viewers vital facts:
“Brock Turner’s freestyle time is one minute and thirty-nine seconds.”

No media could be bothered to discuss
the humiliation of getting a rape kit. No one bothered
to mention how helpless it is being
too drunk and resigned to walk,
naked,
body like a rag doll left rotting
with banana peels.

The world stepped over a raped girl
to defend a white boy, to bail out a monster,
all the while wondering where the blood on their shoes could have come from.

She could still hear the music,
a steady beat in spite of it all,
ear pressed soundly into the pavement.




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