Introducing Jessica Boyles: In Case You Still Don’t Understand Consent

It is my honor to introduce you to Poet Jessica Boyles.  I will be running a series of her poems over the nest few days.  Please welcome her warmly to Brave and Reckless and the WordPress Community.

Christine


I have been writing since I was a child with my first story, The Adventures of Flopsy and Mopsy Bear. Writing was a mechanism of escape and a free space where I maintained full control. These poems, from a collection I am working on titled Translations in Poetry, are raw glimpses of a dark inner world I am attempting to integrate with the external one I have been bodily inhabiting for thirty-nine years.    -Jessica

This was no one-night stand
I’ve had drunken sex that I regretted
Or not
Too many times for mom to read about here
This was not that
This was different
With a one-night stand
I may have made some questionable choices
But they were my own choices

 
You made the choice to get drunk
You made the choice to flirt with this guy
True
I did
I also chose to eat a salad and wear red socks
How do any of those things forfeit my right to sex with consent
Here’s the thing about consent
It can only be given when your brain is functioning
It is the presence of a yes
Not the absence of a no
Do we need to start signing documents to begin getting this right

 
I don’t know a lot of things about that night
I have no memory
I will never know
Whether or not I was drugged
Turns out
Decisions to go to a SARC unit
Don’t always coincide with the life of a drug in your bloodstream
I will never know
Whether both of the guys in the hotel room where I woke up had sex with me
I will never know
How my glasses got broken
Why I had bruises all over my legs

 
Here is what I do know
If I wasn’t drugged
I was drunk to the point of confusion
Slurred speech
Falling over
Passing out
I also know
When I see someone like that coming out of a bar
I help them out
Hail a cab
Drive them home
In the absence of those actions
I leave them alone and hope they stay safe.

 
What I don’t do
Is take them back to my hotel room and have sex with them

 

I am a woman. I am a survivor and a fighter. I am a dreamer. I am a believer. I’m an Aunt, a sister, a daughter, friend and lover. I write out of the depths of all of these things that dwell in my soul.

 

9 thoughts on “Introducing Jessica Boyles: In Case You Still Don’t Understand Consent

    1. Testify, Amen, and Hallelujah!! Took me a very long time to find this Voice! I ran these poems roughly in chronological order but it worked beautifully to bookend with where I started (girl who freezes) and end with finding my voice in Consent.

      Liked by 2 people

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