a 20% chance of rain By Allya Yourish

a 20% chance of rain

I am a virgin without much explaining
to do, I
let a boy touch me and he touched me more than I wanted,
I let a boy touch
me and he told me what he was going to do to my skin, how I was going
to open my legs for him. How I was going

to like it.
And an act of protest, I put distance
between us, I filed all the official paperwork,
not to get him in trouble, only to get it on the record

if only I would stop talking about it, I would be a good victim,
the kind you tell other girls to be
when their trauma is knocking on the door.
For the record, I am not a good victim

I can’t stop talking about it and I
didn’t let anyone else touch me for a long time
My trauma is so well combined with my sexuality
that I can’t tell the two apart if I
hold them up to the light.

My trauma permeates everything.

It is a rain storm and I am wearing a wool sweater,
I can peel the fabric off of my body but there
will still be a seeping cold wetness
over my skin, my bra
he takes off without asking me. The next boy to touch the clasp is treated to a flinch
I don’t mean to respond this way, this is

just the only way I know how. My mouth has no practice with ‘yes’s. I say no now because
I never was allowed to before.

I keep the glory of my body to myself when I know
I’d rather share it because I’m too frightened of losing the ability
to give it away on my own terms.
I do not want to be touched,

and when I do, I have to remind myself
what I am asking for

which is too complicated to be
desirable, I am aware
that I am too complicated to be desirable.
Nobody wants to be with a stoplight that could better
pass as a disco-ball, every shade of flickering
and never the idea of settling. I cannot
settle, I need to say ‘no’ and have it

respected, I want to say ‘no’ and see if it’ll
be respected.
asking for this feels like asking for too much,
when I remember how to ask at all,
I forget how to move my mouth when there
are hands

on my skin.
This is not passion, this is
stuttering fear. The unarticulated ‘no’
is too soft to hear and too
sharp to ignore, and
My trauma is a rain storm and I am wearing a wool sweater, my trauma is an
ocean and I am papercutted and stinging. My trauma is
heavier on my chest than a metaphor.
I get it confused with drowning. My trauma feels
like drowning, it is a rainstorm and I am
suffocating in a wool sweater, I am coughing up water
I cannot hold it up to the light for examination, my
arms are occupied pretending to keep me

Given how little I’ve been touched,
mostly I want
to have never been touched at all.

By Allya Yourish

Allya Yourish has lived in two bookstores in her life and would like to live in at least a dozen more. She is a thesis student at New College of Florida, where she studies Art History and Literature. Her work has appeared in PoetryLife’s College Division anthology, the Rising Phoenix Review, and Poetica Magazine. She lives in Paris, where she spends as much time as possible eating anything floral flavored.

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