Warning by Hannah Norris

art by Elena Blanco | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Twitter


sitting at the bar,
a friend is droning on about
how trigger warnings are censorship
that the “real” world does not cater
to your feelings. he mocks the snowflakes
who are too sensitive and then nudges
my side when my mouth refuses to
be anything but a straight line.

i sip my whiskey in silence and pretend
to listen to him when he starts again.
i spend the rest of the night imagining
us switching places. how freeing must
that be to consume whatever you
please and never have to worry
about your past coming back to
stalk you. to follow you around like a
demon with its hand around
your throat.

how do you move on when every female
character has to be assaulted
to make them powerful? how do you
forget when men use the word
rape to describe everything but rape?
trauma has this way of leaving its mark
on you. like a bruise that’s not going
to fade anytime soon. i still have panic
attacks when i see someone who looks
like them. my hands shake like a miniature
earthquake and my heart jumps into my throat,
but i know they’ve never had a sleepless night.

still sitting at the bar i tell him that i
have to go. i settle my tab and walk away
to my car, turn on the radio when the
engine starts and i hear the opening chords
of that Robin Thicke song
“i hate these blurred lines/
i know you want it.”
and i drive home.

Hannah Norris

Hannah Norris is a 24 year old PNW native who holds a BA in music production. She spends her time performing in the comedy group she co-founded, Cracks Fics Live, writing, and rewatching The Office. She was recently featured in the newest volume from water soup press. : twitter.com/hlnorri