Nonpology by Faith Breisblatt

these women who admired me
I do not remember

what I did was okay
because I never showed a woman my dick
without asking first

when you’re a star they let you do it

it was my attempt at humor

when you have power over another
asking them to look at your dick
isn’t a question

what’s the lesson learned
from something like that?

let me start by saying

these stories are true

if I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie
arm around me drifting below the belt line

her memory of that evening is very different
from mine

I seem to remember her as a good girl

she was married

she’s now got these big
phony tits and everything

no financial settlement

the encounter was consensual, brief

if I did behave as described

no woman ever made a claim

it’s contrary

to my nature

but the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator

this should not be lost in the narrative

I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever
misinterpreted

a different recollection of events

I am a work in progress
I am human

I do not know this woman

Source: quotes from Louis CK, Donald Trump, Al Franken, Roy Moore, Jeffrey Tambor, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Garrison Keillor, Matt Lauer, Ed Westwick. Many of the quotes were found here: http://time.com/5015204/harvey-weinstein-scandal/ and from each person’s individual statements

Method: I started this poem by compiling quotes about sexual harassment and assault since Trump’s election. It seems since taking office, Trump has inspired quite a movement of both women and men sharing their stories about sexual assault and outing their abusers in a powerful way. As days, weeks and months passed, more and more people in the public eye kept getting accused of sexual harassment and/or assault. I’d look at websites like Time and others that compiled lists of those accused and I’d learn about a new predator. As I wrote more and more quotes down, a poem began to form. I played with taking out words and phrases of quotes, moving them around, and the spacing until I had the message I wanted to portray in the poem.

Faith Breisblatt is a social worker living in Boston. Her work can be found in Found Poetry Review, Oddball Magazine, Scripting Change, Toe Good Poetry, Mangrove Journal and elsewhere.