Love

“If This is Love”, “I Go into Her Mouth” and “In Response to Cee-Lo Green’s Analogy of Rape & Robbed Houses”

by Talicha Johnson

If This is Love

you love me like a getaway car/an extra foot of rope/the single phone call/a life jacket/what i mean
is/you love the way that i am/always ready to save you/that i will get my hands dirty               knees
bloodied         everything bruised/so you don’t have too/i don’t ask what you are willing to do for
me/the answer is nothing in comparison/& so i lean into the fire    come away singed       &
scented/& so i dive into the deep end come up near drowned   & weak    & so i place my body
in front of/the bullet/moving train/fist/disappointment/& come up missing/but love is precious/
a gift/coveted/

                                    for what?

 

if this is love i don’t want it.

                                    if this is love, keep it until it spoils,

                                                then pour it down the drain.   flush away any remnants                                                                                  with hot water and the juice of a lemon to kill

                                                                                                what lingers.
there is nothing good to come of this.

IF this is love/which i doubt because could so many people truly vouch for this/                  toss it into the fire, and the fire into the void

                                                                        and the void into an infinite loop

                                    of not today satan!

           don’t want it. i don’t want any of it. instead,

                                                                                    love me shotgun in the getaway car.

                                                            love me clinging to the end of the rope with you.

                                                                        love me in the holding cell beside yours.

                                                love me with our breaths held, and everything sinking

 

 

                                                                                                                                    except us.

I Go into Her Mouth

 

as a harvest

come out a muddy sunset,       ripped vine leaves, and skin too soft to touch.

 

there has never been a time where her tongue

            left me sweeter than it found me.

 

                                                            she is all teeth

i turn pulp between her gums.

 

                                                bite my own tongue until the pain begets

                        a moan she’ll believe.

 

            she spits me out, a handful of seeds,

a whole field of me at her feet,                                   

                                                                        parched.

 

                        i do not know what i am supposed to become now,

            i resemble kicked up dust in the wind storm of her,

 

                                    when her mouth moves on to the next crop.

                                                            i wonder,

 

                                                                                    is this how deserts are conceived?

 

                                    picked clean,

 

between the cheeks of a greedy oasis

In Response to Cee-Lo Green’s Analogy of Rape & Robbed Houses

In 2014 Cee-Lo Green Tweeted:

(1)When someone brakes (sic) on (sic) a home there is broken glass where is your plausible proof anyone was raped 

            (2) Women who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!

                        (3) If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.

 

Mr green, it’s come to my attention that you think rape

and robbed houses have something in common.

                                                                        I mean yeah, I guess.

In one scenario you’ll find       broken glass,  smudged fingerprints,             boot marks,

                                    disarray in general.

                                                                        In the other someone can file

                        a property insurance claim.

                                                                        Oh wait, was that not your point?

Were you trying to say that a robbed house

                                    has a better testimony than a raped body

                                                                        simply because the broken shards of a raped body

                        are swept into the linen closet instead of all over the good god damned rug?

Does it make you uncomfortable,

            the way I say                            raped body                     with such ease?

Know what makes me uncomfortable? Men              accused of drugging                women,

                                                having non consensual sex with them

                                                                        followed by daring said women

                                                                                                            to provide plausible proof

 

Prove your rape
dear one-out-of-every-three woman!
Grab the folds of your vagina
and shake them like the ends of a rug
you’re trying to rid of glass remnants, sweat
& filth clinging like foreign pubic hair
onto your flesh.
Maybe if you do a good enough job
cleaning up some intruders mess
no one will notice the blood of you
on the edge of the floorboard, maybe
they won’t hear your staggered breathing
echoing beneath the door bell.

 

Maybe. Mr green, I see the woman

perched there-on your shoulder, her throat slowly working

the settlement agreement down,

her consent along for a scalding ride.

But this isn’t about her, that

brave one-out-of-every-three woman.

 

                                                                                    This is about you Mr. Green and the way

                                    the words prove it hangs like a rogue flea market halo above your head.

            You think you’ve won? Your kind always does.

                                                You’ve got a fan base of your word

                                                                                                            against hers.

Talk show appearances with hosts

like Steve Harvey who make it seem

like it’s been                                       so hard for you.         

                        Has it? Been hard for you?

Has your neighborhood seemed a little more cautious these days?

Word going around there’s a robber on the loose?

            Breaking into anything that looks

            like no one would believe it was broken into?

                        Breaking into anything that looks like it won’t remember?

                                    Breaking into anything that stands close enough

                                    to be mistaken as with you & therefore implies consent?

 

                                                                        Listen, I won’t try to force you

                                                                        to do something you don’t want to

            (for instance, admitting you’re a worthless waste of space)

                                                                        it’s just that I want to help you do something

                                                                        you wouldn’t ordinarily do if, you know, you had

                                                                        all your wits about you.

 

                        Mr. Green, shall I have            mercy   on you?

                        Shall I place the pill on the tablecloth beside your full cup

                                                            & afford you the choice your accuser wasn’t?

 

            Mr. Green, it has come to my attention

                                                that you think consent & rape have nothing in common

I mean, yeah, I guess...if you’re like...

a rapist.

About the Author

Talicha Johnson

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Talicha J. is the author of Falling in Love with Picking Myself up. She was a member of the Art Amok Slam Team in 2016; they ranked 6th in the nation that year & performed on the finals stage. Johnson has also competed at the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the Individual World Poetry Slam. Her work revolves heavily around body image, sexuality, racism, sexual violence, victim blaming/shaming, and most importantly it centers on self-awareness. Talicha J. strives to provide a body of work that is bold, brave, and vibrant. She delivers gritty art with integrity and incorporates authenticity at its foundation. Johnson is currently working on her second collection of poetry & planning a school bus tiny home conversion in order to travel the country teaching & performing poetry. For more information please visit: talichajpoetry.com