by Mitchell Hartley @mtchllhrtly at unsplash

You look like an actress
who, when she was young, kissed a man
fully-grown, not with tongue
but with teeth, sharp; vampiric & piercing
bicuspid primed to cause
your bleeding

Your throat whispers a breathy calm
To his low-honeyed quiver, quaking
a song of lies & hope
to throw off the scent
of would-be protectors
who failed you

In the shadow of the road, Freud stood
smiling. The myth of hysterics & females
presiding and told to drown
your anger in a shower;
To bathe rage, justifiable
until melted of

A snake, when coiled
can seem even like a Yogi
While stretching behind you
contemplating tea & granola with sugar
that went rancid in the sun
& what remains—
a timid doe
treading water
amongst the sludge.

About the Poem

“Aggressor” was written after following the heartbreaking ordeal of the Gabby Petito story. As a poet who has long written pieces with a feminist edge, my outrage over what happened to Ms. Petito came from that viewpoint—seeing the authorities demean and dismiss her, without even necessarily realizing they were doing so, by putting her in the category of having a “mental health crisis”, when in fact there was much more to her story. Watching the YouTube video that Gabby herself uploaded, and the contents of that were factored into the poem, as well.

About the Author

Gillian Thomas is a writer and poet, and mother to her 9-year old son. A graduate of New York City’s Hunter College, Thomas received her bachelor’s degree in English and theater before first being published in the journal The Iconoclast. She has spent years living in both NYC and the DC suburbs and currently works from home. Thomas’ work has also been featured in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Pembroke Magazine, Gargoyle, Spry, JMWW journal, and others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *