Sara Eliza Johnson
Conclusion and Findings
That night, in the morning hours of your violation,
The Panel found the Respondent thus: a light
you invited, a door you opened awake, a key.
The Panel did not believe you shut
your legs immediately, or spoke in time.
The Panel believes that light kissed your face.
The Panel believes you were lost, reached for it.
The Panel believes you moaned for touch.
The Panel believes your passion naked in it
(like the statue of Aphrodite, now without arms).
The Panel believes your fear dissipated in bed.
The Panel acknowledges you were fearful
(as the laurel leaf shaking in cold wind
on the statue of Daphne’s becoming).
The Panel also notes you were not afraid
(as even a laurel must reach for the sunlight).
The Panel questioned the force of your voice,
the momentum of your voice, its frequency.
Thus the Panel does not believe you forced.
The Panel found your body: an expression
spoken in bed, a text, an exchange or event.
The Panel does not believe you a person.
The Panel concludes your clitoris a night, a bed
(room where morning light opens its window
on the wall, like the painting of Helen smiling).
The Panel concludes you: erratic, ill, a threat.
The Panel believes history is an exchange of calls
across light and night, a grey area of given
and not, culminating in the version we respect.
Light nurtures all bodies, so the Panel concludes
it nurtured you, respected your wishes
which you are skilled at expressing.
We believe your voice a violation of order.
We conclude your voice is violent.