On 14 March 2018, a man in Singapore was found guilty of raping his own mother. Senior Council Harry Elias defended the perpetrator in court, saying that ‘the woman could have “shut the gates”… prevented the rape by crossing her legs.’
So sorry that you happened to cross me
at half past two in the morning. So sorry
to have been walking past midnight, out
of the house, beyond the borders
of your good taste. So sorry for my lips
apple red, rosebuds spilling, thorns
barbing my tongue, so sorry for the willing,
wilting sweetness of my breath – so sorry
for getting in the front seat, for the parting
of my legs, for the rain that pressed my dress
into my skin. So sorry for not stopping
your wanting while I still could, for not pushing
your hand from my knee, not resisting, not
insisting you stop the car. So sorry I made you
forget your wife, your children, your vows, your
god, your good community standing, So sorry
your mother will never find out the kind of
man you really are. So sorry for the lipstick
on your collar and blood on your seat.
For my beauty and your morals, both skin deep.
For the length of my teeth and the depth of your fear.
For the sharp labour of your final breath.
For the easy infinity of mine.
Image: Sumpah Pontianak, B.N. Rao, Malaysia, 1958.