Amber Atiya

and so The Panel (greek chorus of academe) agrees presumably between the hours of 9 and
5 more than likely before noon while the coffee is warm while very possibly you are
trimming your hair or rolling pennies or plucking cat fur from a skull cap or at the precise
moment you scribble “bacalao” on your grocery list quite possibly at that moment The
Panel agrees your report of sexual assault is incredible (in-ˈkre-də-bəl) from the latin
“in” meaning “not” from the latin “credere” meaning “believe”

spanish: increíble
arabic: لا يُصَدَّق 
brazilian portuguese: inacreditávelt
thai: ไม่น่าเชื่อ
xhosa: ngileyo
greek: απίστευτος

The Panel believes there was “clear non-verbal consent” The Panel asks would you believe
you if you said there wasn’t? you are reminded of the grimm tale of siblings who come to a
house in the woods seeking asylum and find a shortcut to slaughter when The Panel
accuses you of not acting like a woman assaulted on the heels of the assault no melodrama
gaunt rattling chains chanting kali kali head shaved beating a tambourine in a park no
jehovah’s witness saturday morning bell-ringing door slammed in your face as you give
your testimony no torn blouse red lips drug habit nun’s habit and a chainsaw no tarantino
gore but you oh you you you sans therapist and empty gin bottles under the bed you know
the accused sing karaoke with the accused watch the super bowl with the accused you
shave his shadow he hugs your mama gives your daddy dap has hands like your daddy says
call me daddy and you do because he is and you love him or maybe you don’t but the
woman who brews joe at starbucks loves her accused or maybe she don’t but you both
know a woman who does and perhaps fear makes you a fuzzy animal glass-eyed at the foot
of your bed you haven’t blinked in weeks you button your dress shirts to the top wear your
hair in a bun take your tea with milk breath measured cuticles clean jokes clean you are
clean you are incredible so security at walmart say so the mall santa say so the fresh direct
delivery man say so your cousin physical therapist say so mtv say so the history channel
say so say the accused say The Panel say their co-conspirators and their four-legged gods
who lick and lick them in their mouths then piss on their manicured lawns