Smart, not like sucking a stranger’s punch.
A lie, but it got him off me,
no less ethical than
undressing a barely-conscious teen.
He was looking for a trash can,
stumbling around in the dark.
Sure, I went to the costume party
looking like trash, a can for his refuse.
I wore a cheerleader outfit,
from last year at high school.
I was looking for trouble.
He was looking for
someone to give it to.
I remember the green punch,
then nothing ’til the sucker-punch--
waking bereft of friends
on the dirty floor
in a quiet dark room,
not the party house.
I played unconscious when I came to,
Hoping that would make me safe.
It made me a more tempting target.
You’re not supposed to play dead
He was standing in the hall, telling his buddy,
“I’ll go first; then, you can have her.”
His roommate was disinclined to participate,
but not motivated to intervene.
Where could I go? How could I escape?
I didn’t even know where I was.
Every time he touched me, I said,
“I’m going to throw up,”
and he got off.
How long can it go on?
The doorbell rang, and it was my friends.
I heard him say, “No, she’s not here,”
And I yelled,
Sarena Mason is a part-time student, full-time writer, teeny-time author who has always preferred the voices in her own head to those around her. Her credits include: 2015-2016 Homer J. PIttard Creative Writing Award scholarship at Middle Tennessee State University and "Tennessee Easter" published in The Tennessee Magazine, April 2016 issue.