Bonhomme: A Poem

I forgot how to breathe.

In the same room with you

I forgot how to breathe, it was too loud,

Too this, too that, I was so scared, to make a sound,

The wrong one, afraid to upset you, with the presence

Of my voice, by breathing, I learned that I shouldn’t be

Heard, that I shouldn’t eat, that I should do what men say,

What they desire, not listen to my own body, overwrite it.


I thought that if I pretended to sleep, nothing could happen to me.

It made it easier for you. It invited you in even more.

Screaming, the body language, annoyed, repulsed, careless.

You were convinced that I needed to suffer and go through

Everything you went through. You felt superior, looked

At my misery and boasted because you already went through it.

You orchestrated. You banalised. Nobody would be a greater martyr than you.


You let them get away with it.

You didn’t care. You never did.

I swallowed my breaths to accommodate you.

To render myself invisible to not be a target anymore.

You wouldn’t stop there, you didn’t respect the borders

Of the lifeless, you’d use your violence against anyone

In any state, nobody mattered. The women you devoured

Like cattle, described like merchandise, holes, holes, holes,

To be filled, to be stuffed and ripped open, trashed, ghosted.


I am a girl in the same room with you.

Holding on to the blanket as if it could save me.

Closing my eyes as if you could actually disappear.

Keeping my hands to myself, my thighs tightly shut

As if you wouldn’t use your strength against me and mislead them,

Open them, by force and manipulation, the voice so soft, so suddenly.

topless woman sitting on bed
Photo by cottonbro on

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