Saw this on Facebook and was riveted.
The Gutting by Beck Cooper
It is said,
he who holds the hook
is aware in what water many fish are swimming.
I was full once,
before the night he gutted me.
The night I heard my own “no”
echo into his cavernous, moaning mouth;
and even then I was only a fish
and what else was I good for but an easy catch?
I should have known better
than to swim alone along such a dark and foreign shoreline
where grown men with rolled up sleeves
reach beneath the surface groping the river
for something alive,
something to turn into meat.
He did not look like a fisherman,
his clothing was not soaked in the blood of prey
nor did he smell of the sea.
I mistook him for a lighthouse,
He must have slipped the hook down my throat
as he brushed my hair behind my ear,
bought my second gin and tonic.
It is customary to keep fish wet until you scale them.
I was so taken by the act of being chosen,
I didn’t notice the pierce,
blood drip behind my tongue.
And this is my story:
I let a man spread open my abdomen
reach inside, bypass my refusal,
remove parts of me and scoop them into his bucket.
The thing about being raped I need you to understand
is that it doesn’t always happen on concrete.
Sometimes, the gutting takes place inside of a bedroom.
Sometimes, it is accompanied by kind words and wet lips.
Sometimes, it is easier to believe you deserve it,
to believe you owe it to him,
to wake up the next morning and serve him the pulp of you
he scraped from your bones on a breakfast tray with a glass of orange juice;
and let him walk you home holding your hand.
And when you arrive at your front door,
remove the hook from your throat
and with a sore and grateful tongue thank him
for choosing to catch and release.
Even now, in the retelling, what I would give to tell you I was a python
coiling around the flesh of his neck
wringing the life out of him slowly.
What I would give to tell you I was an alligator, hyena, grizzly bear
anything but a fish;
anything that doesn’t go down without a fight.
What I would give to tell you I spit on him, pushed him off of me,
carved into his abdomen with my own teeth.
But I am only a fish
and what else is a fish good for but to be consumed
even on the holiest of Lent
without ever breaking his fast.
And now, the first man since the gutting
to bring me into his bed
peels back my scales to find me empty.
My liver, kidneys, tongue, heart removed;
my body stitched from gill to pelvic fin;
my eyes cloudy and sunken.
Underneath his sheets he thrusts into me,
asks me, “What’s wrong?”
if it’s his fault.
Asks me why I’m lying there, lifeless, like a dead fish.