Three Poems / by Sonya Vatomsky


The best part of sexual assault is how you can't pass the Bechdel Test anymore

You just can't.
At first, you don't even try: you wake up and that's it, you've failed. 
Simple as that. 
There aren't do-overs here. No summer school, no tutors. You're just a one trick pony for a while, 
and your one trick is isolating yourself
from friends
from coworkers
from strangers, even
because nobody, literally nobody, wants to hear what you've got to say.
They're at happy hour.
They're trying to get drunk.
They're laughing and eating tacos and
sexual assault 
is the suffix of your every word. 
You have a new language. 
You might as well be the only speaker, yet no historians are coming to learn your syntax and 
chronicle your stories before you die. And even your eulogy
will be about him, really.





there’s something buried in here, I think
I feel it like a haunting:
intangible, sly, always present but yet
a night-time thought, solidifying with sunset
into a shiver, a nail-scrape, ill-seen by weaker eye

there’s something buried in here, I think
a halfway point (between repressed memory
and a cat going downward, dark-ward to die)
a halfway house — what a funny word
as if a place on Earth could come after; drink

there’s something buried in here
but spirits loosen the soil, all kinds
smooth sharp edges, flush out impurities
of which there are many; mind your manners,
tip your gravedigger, leave it entombed, behind





Turns out rocket science is not as hard
as they say; just two parts soup bones
a good deal of candle-wax
and something dying to leave this place
(women make good cosmonauts)
Then launch! 
Feed the flame with whatever you need to:
old love letters,
unspent money,
to-do lists and post-it notes,
dictionaries, bibles, yellowpages;
turn those ciphers to ash,
glyphs to soot,
runes to embers,
a right-brain apocalypse
your oeuvres my fuel-cum-dust
and my spaceship sturdy-boned & whistling,
and stars to my left.




Sonya Vatomsky is a Moscow-born, Seattle-raised poet and essayist. An introvert, she balances her time between being active in several (online and local) feminist communities and cooking elaborate five-course dinners for herself, alone, in the dark. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Delirious Hem, Empath Lit, and Electric Cereal.