Vicious Traditions




Victoria, 21 years old. San Diego.






"The rape joke is that you were eight.
The rape joke is that at the time,
you didn’t know people had sex to express love.
The rape joke is that the only other person
who’d seen you naked was your mom.
The rape joke is that he called you ‘beautiful’ first.
The rape joke is that he held your hands together
and told you to ‘try harder’ when you struggled.
The rape joke is that you believed him
when he told you were overreacting.
The rape joke is that your grandma
called him a nice boy and asked him to stay for dinner.
The rape joke is that he winked at you
when you apologized to your parents for not coming
downstairs the first time you were called.
The rape joke is that his friends
high-fived him for “getting some.”
The rape joke is that you still don’t feel like
you’ve regrown the pieces he stole.
The rape joke is that he was conceived when his
dad slapped himself into his snoring mother.
The rape joke is that her friends told her
she was lucky someone wanted her.
The rape joke is that each year in the United States,
32,000 other women’s bellies
ripen with life against their will.
The rape joke is that he never learned
to touch without scarring.
The rape joke is that your classmate thinks
‘have you seen what asses look like in yoga pants?’
is an argument.
The rape joke is your new boyfriend kissing
you and telling you he ‘raped’ his math test.
The rape joke is that ‘Why are girls so scared of rape? Y’all should feel pride that a guy risked his life in jail just to fuck you’
is a popular Tweet right now.
The rape joke is that you wake up to
the memory of him laughing,
“now that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
The rape joke is that it’s been twelve years and
you still quiver when someone touches you.
The rape joke is that he hasn’t stopped laughing.
The rape joke is that you forgot how to."






"Depression is stupid and not a thing that makes me a better writer. One time I went a whole year without writing and I stayed in bed and drank. Fuck your Bukowskisms. I want sunlight and love and running down some street I’ve never been on where it’s warm and cool at the same time and I’m smiling. I want nothing to ever be bad again- and I don’t mean that I want a life free of conflict, I mean that I want a life free of meaningless conflict. Not being able to will oneself to take a shower or leave the house is meaningless. There is nothing to be gained, no lesson to be learned from that kind of life. My heart is stale, my prose is stale. Give me fire if you want to hurt me. Give me something I can taste. There’s nothing romantic or mysterious about where I am. There’s nothing here worth holding onto."