He whispered down a cold telephone line
voice crackling with crisp anger
dripping threats that chilled my soul
"Why did you tell him I raped you?"
Heart beating to an out-of-time drum
hairs standing up, reaching away from me
as I wanted to get away from myself
but mostly from his voice on the line.
No words. No murmur. Barely breath, even
the world stood still and I panicked
guilt and shame rising in my throat like bile
stinging my unmoving tongue. I must
have made a noise, some involuntary sound
a death-rattle from my heaving stomach.
"Why?" he repeated, and I could barely think,
let alone speak the words. Because you did.
Because you did. Because you did.
I gathered my trembling wits and breathed out
slowly, so that he would hear that I was there.
I put down the phone, and he disappeared.