The number 11 bus, by Anne Gill

Stranger rape is bloody
bad luck, for sure.
But it’s like being
run over by a bus;
you don’t have to
internalise it.

When my mum was run
over walking home she broke
her hip but was still happy to
go past the place at rush
hour she didn’t have any panic
attacks she was just on morphine
for a couple of months she
stayed in bed until her bones
knitted themselves back together.

Most rape is just
lazy just careless.
I mean, a penis
is nowhere near
as dangerous as a gun
even a knife or a fist
or a broomstick or a bottle.
We’ve over-dramatized
the offense.

you have to stop
moping in bed after the thing
that happened the thing we don’t
talk about you have to force out
the nightmares and remembrance
with the hard shell of a brain
you were brought up to have 

(someone just threw
a live firework at me
just got flashed by a guy
on heeley road
at 5.30pm I was followed


Anne Gill is currently studying her masters in Writing Poetry at Newcastle University. A University of Birmingham alumna, she was part of their winning slam team in 2018 and has performed at events both in the UK and abroad. Her poems have appeared online and in print in Strix, Ink Sweat and Tears, and The Dizziness of Freedom anthology. Her first pamphlet is forthcoming in 2019 with Bad Betty Press.