His breath is branded into her memory.
The way his lips shiver.
The hot air of suffocation and pressure.
The space filled with his expectations and fantasies.
Her dreams are shut down.
He enforces bankruptcy.
As she experiences touch, she envisions pain.
Humanising the devil, cotton-wool.
Athanasia’s body feels like a straightjacket.
She has not been taught to struggle and protest.
She tries to understand this man.
Tries to penetrate his past, his motivations, his thoughts.
Why he claims her for himself so easily.
Why he thinks of her as a possession, a doll for him to take.
His hands on her chest feel like a rotten heartbeat.
She’s following it on a leash.
Athanasia wastes around it for years, never using her elbows.
When she gets drunk on her own sexuality, she becomes him.
It’s overpowering, but it is an imposed identity.
As she lies on the bathroom floor she cries that this is not her.
And yet her tongue is like his.
Her wrestling innards, shame and confusion battle each other.
This man’s sexuality is something unseen, incompatible with the social persona,
The performance. People cannot imagine him as a craving beast.
And now she lies there, spat out, on the dirty tiles, too drunk to move.
How did she get here?
He never left her side, dominating her sexuality, whispering, engineering her.
The pressure of his hands comes back and she panics.
Athanasia acknowledges his presence, but puts her own desire on the pedestal.
Her voice carries the microphone, touch loses its hostility.
She reclaims her body and determination, gives flags a colour.
Athanasia finally discovers that in her body she is the one in charge.