Masked Thieves by Amy Avila-Sterling

Am I safe?

What does ‘safe’ mean

He touches me and I have to remind myself that this is okay


But my body remembers the touch of a dozen unwanted fingers

Uninvited guests

Their scents and presence lingers

The body keeps the score

And mine is losing

Don’t go there

You are safe

Don’t fret


But the mind is never sure

It retells you stories of those masked thieves in the woods to ensure

you are never again robbed

But my innocence cannot be taken twice

It was never restored

I weep for the fantasies I will never be able to live

I am locked away in a tower

But there is no knight and steed

Not for me

What’s wrong with you?

You owe him this

Snap out of it

What value do you hold if not to spread your legs and share the

warmth he needs

He is a man

He has needs

Be a good girl,

Keep him intrigued.

At least atop my tower I don’t have to let anyone in.

It is lonely

But it is safe.

I can’t say the same beneath fitted sheets.

Greedy hands

Forced breath

Ears that don’t listen

Limbs heavy as steel.

They won’t yield-


Be present,

His kind eyes won’t hurt you like they did,



Amy Avila-Sterling is a writer, musician, and creator born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has always thought that her pen brings out the words that her voice is afraid to speak. She is in love with the art of storytelling and the endless ways it unites us all.

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