Alternate Names for Rape Survivors*

1. held breath in the half-light of red-eyed dawn
2.  muscle tension before the brick is thrown
3.  forgotten bodies piled on a dorm-room floor
4.  someone’s daughter
5.  shade from a leaf gone once the sun moves in the sky
6.  life destroyer of the hometown football star
7.  huddled masses yearning to breathe breathe breathe br
8.  twisted knot, a hive of cuts on thighs, wrists
9.  disembodied soul and the cat’s 10th life
10. your teacher, bus driver, dental hygienist, the girl who sits 
stone-faced at church
11. (me)
12.  every third woman reading this
13. a reinvention of reinvention
14. the millisecond before the razor or the noose

* after alternate names for black boys by Danez Smith

-Terri Muuss

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