I told my gang rape story to a group of writers
Read to them an account of when I was blackmailed
Into allowing a trail of college men to molest me
People were skeptical
One said, But you come across as so feisty and brave
Another said, it seems odd that you cared about what your parents found out
A third said, but you were telling people you believed in free love.
All of them looked horrified
But I don’t think they took it seriously, it
Wasn’t real rape they thought.
And then I read the group a story about an affair I once had
And one man said
That it didn’t seem I enjoyed myself very much
And encouraged me to add some positive nuances.
A woman looked down at the table between us and
Commented that I did not come across as a nice person.
Because of these experiences
I have a request to critics who may read about the intimate details
Of a person’s history in the course of a workshop:
Concentrate on literary merit
Stay away from moral judgments
Or personality analysis.
Especially my personality.