The other night I dreamed about you,
of all people!
Yes. That way.
We had sex against our will.

It is said we have no self,
no place in our protoplasm
where identity lives.
We are thoughts and feelings and that’s about it.

So who is the ringmaster of our dreams?
What demented little demi-god is pulling our strings?

Decency, limits—he couldn’t care less.
All he wants are stories,
the more unspeakable, the better.

They don’t last long, these reckless visions.
Banished by the logic of day,
they turn to shreds,
fall back to the bedlam they came from,
leaving only our embarrassment behind.

At work the next morning, you looked so innocent,
your head bent over your desk, your earnest, blameless forehead.

I was innocent too of course,
though I didn’t feel that way,
having hosted the event
and the sweet shame that went with it,
the thrill of knowing your flesh for free.


Photo credit: Alyssa L. Miller via / CC BY

Published by

Jean Ryan

Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in Napa, California. Her stories and essays have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies. She has also published a novel, LOST SISTER. Her short story collections, SURVIVAL SKILLS and LOVERS AND LONERS, are available online. STRANGE COMPANY, a collection of short nature essays, is available in paperback as well as digital and audio editions.

4 thoughts on “Non-Consensual

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s