GASLIGHT by CHRISTIAN J. COLLIER

I wrote about the assault
a year after it happened once,
converted reality into a short fiction piece

for a class in college & a week later,
my professor, in her critique, told me
that the way I’d described the act was not plausible,

that it could not occur in
the manner in which I penned it.
She said that the attacker

would have had to have entered
the sanctum of the victim from behind
because it would have been easiest,

otherwise, if the protagonist was on his back,
he would have been able to flail & fight the man off.
As I listened to her, black sand began filling

the lobby of my tongue until it became
too heavy to move or lift off my gums
& when she asked if I understood

 where she was coming from
& what she was trying to say, I sat before her
in silence at my desk thinking if you only knew.

 


Christian J. Collier is a 2015 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow. He is an accomplished artist, public speaker, and educator who has shared the stage with members of HBO’s Def Poetry cast, Rock& Roll Hall of Fame members The Impressions, and Grammy-nominee Minton Sparks. Some of his works have been featured on The Guardian, and published in such publications as The American Journal of Poetry, TAYO Literary Magazine, The Seven Hills Review, and Freeze Ray, to name a few.

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