Commissions + Articles

Critical Bastards: Issue 16, SENSE

For this issue of Critical Bastards I contributed a fictive essay: UNLIKE AN ANIMAL: excerpts from Endocrine, towards a bodily syntax.

The summer I was raped I took to bathing my feet two or three times a day.

I made a small ritual of sitting on the edge of the bath and dipping them in cool, iron-flecked water.

They were pink and swollen in a way they’d never been before: they’d a look of allergy, and it seemed to me that this was where the rape had gone. It had dripped down inside me and puddled there, making heavy and bloated my once high arches.

 I certainly wasn’t letting it take up any space in my womb or my heart.

At that time I wasn’t even calling it rape.

Years yet, before I’d say the word aloud.

When I was a girl and my red first came I thought it meant I was a little bit an animal. That I’d an animal’s womb, and so an animal’s heart.

This was perhaps the first sign that I’d a blockage or a stoppering where certain sensations would otherwise be.

Sue Rainsford