Tina L Porter

Our Body of Proof

Grace, Sexual Assault No Comment

Mitch McConnell says “I believe the women,” and I hate that I feel my body relax, when my brain is yelling, “about f@cking time!”

But the body, she knows. She is the proof that men say they want, but don’t see because they are looking only at parts and not the whole; looking with scientific tools that shine light on rips in the flesh, but not in the soul, where trust once lived.

But the body, she knows. She cushions the brain that tries to trick itself into forgetting with food, or booze, or a drug-induced snooze. Or maybe she moves, and moves, and moves: meetings and exercise and shopping and church and drinks with a friend so when she lays herself down to sleep she prays the memories are buried deep.

The body has acted the role of overprotective mother, quieting the mind and lulling the heart and holding on to the moment when the soul can reopen and remember who it was before. Before who she was became who she is. Before her open heart became a fist closed tightly with keys protruding. Before her trust was ripped from her, replaced with the memory of the stink of his breath, the rage in his eyes, and the force of his touch. Before she didn’t know who she was and never would see herself again.

When you were looking for proof that was irrefutable you looked for what was left behind—-a creepy note in a decades-old yearbook. What can be shown? What can be saved and presented as proof when the body has hidden it all to save the heart from collapse and the brain from eternal thoughts of the life that was, but isn’t now.

But there it is. An old white man says “I believe the women” and the body loosens, if only slightly. It loosens, and tries to remember what it felt like to be home.

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