Magic Trick

I only know
One magic trick

No props necessary
But it does involve
Using your voice
So please prepare
It can take
A long time
To find it

This is both
One of the saddest
And the most beautiful
Magic tricks
ever witnessed

And not
Sad and beautiful
In a sublime sense
This magic
Is far too real

The magic trick.

This is it:

When I open
My mouth
And I let
My secret
That is no secret
Come tumbling out

My secret is
Told back to me
In an echo
A hundred times over
By a thousand
Different mouths

This secret
Takes prisoners
Holds hostages
Makes us trapped
In our bodies
And demands
Our silence

That is how
This secret
Continues to exist
As if it were
A god
An entity

The magic
When one person
A resounding chorus
Of voices

When I say
I was raped
Everyone I know
Has been raped, too.

And that is the magic
And tragic

But there is something
Truly awe-some
When one voice
Can spark
An entire
Chain reaction

And in this way
Our secret dies
And we can survive

Sad and beautiful.
But magic

My dream
Is to hear
This secret
Louder and louder
Until the secret
Is completely
Laid to rest

To hear it
Like a call & response
A chant in the streets
To sing our pain
Out of our hearts
Carrying our trauma
In our open palms

Wish I could tell you
How many times
I’ve heard our secret
Told to me
For the first time
From someone’s lips

But I don’t count
My heart
Was breaking
Under the weight
Of it

I can’t give you a number
I know you want a statistic
I know we don’t believe anything
Until there’s a report
And even then

I can’t give you a number
But I can promise you
1 in 8 men, 1 in 5 women
Aren’t even close
To our reality

Tell me–
How do you
Calculate a statistic
On a crime
A trauma
From which
Most of the survivors
Are silent?

Must be some kind
Of magic trick.

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