Paul LaTorre is a poet, activist and educator who teaches at Bloomfield College in NJ. Blending pop culture with advocacy for various forms of trauma including abuse, disorder, and mental health issues, his aim is to create dark poems with a sense of levity. Paul’s work has been published in Zeitgeist, Drunk Monkeys, Narrative Northeast, BLINK and has been featured on the DREAM Act’s ‘voices’ portal. His chapbook of poetry, Disappearing Boy, was recently published by the 3 Mile Harbor Press.
This sex is not the type
with nails dug in
& marks on back—
it’s the type where you call them back
later that day to ask if they got home okay.
It’s the kind you can’t connect
to muster words either way. Silencio
Where you seem present
but spectral hover above the bed Wingardium Leviosa
Like some Myrtle ghost of dissociate,
Polyjuice brewing other’s face,
left hand gone translucent Evanesco
& there’s no one there
to pull you through,
just apparition of you… vanishing
So sure, you relent. . .
turn serious, black // riddikulus
shadow you & fold in defense.
The girl I lost my virginity to
raped me twice
in my room.
The door open.
In broad afternoon
& I know what you’ll say— “Men can’t be raped.”
It doesn’t work like that,
anatomically, one must keep up
in order to penetrate,
but I am living
In some strange way,
I thought her rapaciousness praise—
that being ensnared by her
could validate manliness,
someone wanting this chubby muggle kid
so much they’d tear through clothes,
objections & protection spells;
she made me forget myself. Obliviate
This girl was sorceress—
a contortionist, bending bodily frame
& brain & I—no escape artist,
couldn’t conjure cloak of invisible,
caught in grip of constrictor hips,
writhing wand while hex left lips— Imperius
But what if doors are not Patronuses
to keep Death-eaters at bay
but rather portholes
to be entered // breached
disarming spells Expelliarmus
you thought would help
you erase details:
the grey of the wallpaper,
cold of sheets,
day of the week,
the snakes in her hair (red or green?)
that every impression impressed
can latch onto you & sink fangs into. . .
I was caught between
Nagini gaze & some hard place, Stupefy
escape became astral plane,
trapped in chest;
bound to bed.
The second time,
didn’t get to use protection.
She woke me up & rode—
cackling as I said “NO”. . . (like it’s a joke)
I felt like that, though.
Any time I brought up my violation,
it was turned anecdote—“Shit, she could rape me any day, ya know?”
Comedian Terry Crews was mocked
when he accused a man of sexually abusing him.
Imagine what I get. . .
Trauma’s not some stand-up act,
see, when I’d confess—
felt so un-believed // repressed, I stopped trying to.
& I know, our kind are due
millenia negative back-karma;
Men are snakes— dumb
& often venomous,
wrapping prey in anaconda vise;
We bar-hop carnage & force down limbs
before digest, swallow whole through esophagus.
But I hadn’t fed on anyone. I was just 17, a neolate.
“Man up, you must have wanted it.
Men. Always. Consent.”
Fathom backing a stance so radioactive;
Imagine dragons nesting in multitudes
on top of you, teething fantastic beasts
consuming lock & key as their mother did. . .
hung in the upside-down Levicorpus
Rape is about power, not sex.
A display of dominance.
& She who shall not be named
lorded hers over me, sorceress left
hurriedly only to text the next day
& say she was carrying.
It had to be mine.
That as a man, “you have to provide”.
& I wanted anything but that
to be true—to tether us.
When asked by friends
why I wouldn’t raise my kid to be just like me,
one devoid of empathy,
kind to breed
this raze & feast
& let all he holds dear be seized.
Only no seed formed in womb,
fruitless as the lies she told—one more contortion act.
We slept together four times after that. . .
I know, I know.
I never should have let her back in Alohomora
Returning to scene means I was culpable,
not real victim—I must be extra //
stretching truth as all men do Incendio
but when has intimacy ever been clean?
Do we not all hold & hide our own Horcruxes?
At least now I can recognize a parseltongued
dragon mother when I see one.
& I’m not too fond of being called
‘boy who survived’ because
there are many parts of me
which have not.
Azka-banning failed spells
to break the bond
& lock that door— Colloportus
to keep you prisoner
pleading release Relashio
stuck in state of half-awake //
bound like sleep paralysis—
the body at rest
& arrest in one, Petrificus Totalis
even in midst of an act
as honest as consented sex,
It follows you as Dementors do,
creaks of rusty bed springs memory
& there you lay—a portkey, splayed,
conjuring logic why
perhaps now you crave control
& see the macabre in all things. . .
No longer mesmerized,
learned to recite
curses which bind Crucio
regardless of sex of aggressor
trying its best to slither in,
of every snake
that made you prey Rennervate
& if they ever try again
to pry their way in,
& say Avada Kedavra.