by Annie Marhefka

like a train / shrill, trill / echoing in the station / what’s wrong with a little flirtation / a mating game / cat call / trapped in / the bathroom stall / c’mon sweetie, smile a little / relax / let me just / defile you a little / he’s harmless / disarmed and charmless / pepper spray in your Kate Spade purse / let’s not make things worse / virgin / free of sin / inexperienced, indifferent / untouched and unrushed / you shouldn’t have worn a / if you hadn’t / miniskirt / high heel / pantsuit / how does that feel / just drown him out / don’t let him get to you / it’s on you / he’s not fired / you’re just tired / why you look so / scared / impaired / physically ensnared / you know you want it / please don’t fight it / she must be lying / oh stop crying / drama queen / come clean / you’re attracted to it / you’ll get through it / carry the shame / bury the name / you had nowhere to go / but did you say no / no no no / didn’t make a sound / you need to calm down.

Annie Marhefka is a writer in Baltimore, Maryland. Her creative nonfiction and poetry have been published by Lunch Ticket, Literary Mama, Pithead Chapel, Anti-Heroin Chic, and others, and her work has been nominated for Best of the Net. Annie is the Executive Director at Yellow Arrow Publishing, a Baltimore-based nonprofit supporting and empowering women writers, and is working on a memoir about mother/daughter relationships. You can find Annie’s writing on Instagram @anniemarhefka, Twitter @charmcityannie, and at anniemarhefka.com.