“My rape found me on my hypothetical blanket, poured gasoline on me, and lit a cigarette. At first, I…”

“My rape found me on my hypothetical blanket, poured gasoline on me, and lit a cigarette. At first, I thought I was okay. I went to class, continued going out to the club with friends, and I fucked. Fucking was my one reprieve from my thoughts, which  at that point had succumbed slowly to the fire. They had picked a room in the house, painted it blue, locked the door, lit a few candles in a room, already becoming ash. Fucking allowed me to be silent, to be voided, to not exist.”

Erin McDonald, from “The Smallest Harm,” A Shadow Map: An Anthology by Survivors of Sexual Assault