POETRY: Annabel Banks – Classical Escalation

Classical Escalation

has only
caught me once.
I say only, for tally
ups of all his attempts
suggest that’s pretty good—

to only once be invaded
like that. Struck, yes. Hassled,
chased—once around a washing
line in a garden. I have never been so
Diana-fleet—later had my clothes undone
as I stood in the street, bra pinged, been groped
in buses and tubes and taxi queues. Once, in a club,

he waved his cock, almost friendly, another time followed
me as he wanked. I nipped in the kebab shop to call the cops,

on different days he’s propositioned, or pandered, or cajoled,
Slammed me against walls, my wrist so tight it bruised the bone
when I twisted free. Even at work I wasn’t safe: heard him whisper
lovely bouncing tits as I ran to the clocking-in machine. Almost too late.
He’d pinned me to a table, my stomach muscles, wrenched from my escape,
hurt for weeks. Handed me a joint spiked with a trip –you’d better stay with me—
then trapped me in so many rooms, those different backs against different doors,
smiling that invitation and challenge—just a kiss—but yes, he only caught me once,
when I was passed out on a bed, sick with wine, waking to find myself full of bad god
transforming. But only once. Which is pretty good. When you think of the effort he’s put in.


Check out Annabel Banks’ Website.

Find Annabel on Twitter: @annabelwrites

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