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EMILY ROSE COLE

 

 

 

Emily Rose Cole photoEmily Rose Cole is the author of Love and a Loaded Gun, a chapbook of persona poems published by Minerva Rising Press (previously a finalist for the Fool for Poetry competition). She has received accolades from Jabberwock Review, Philadelphia Stories, Ruminate, The Orison Anthology and the Academy of American Poets. Her poetry has appeared most recently in Nimrod, The Pinch, and Southern Indiana Review, among others. She is pursuing her PhD at the University of Cincinnati.

 

 

 

Anatomy of a Rape Joke

 

A girl walks into a bar with her roommate & her roommate’s

new boyfriend. He’s mountainous. All sinew. The kind of man

 

I wouldn’t want ambling behind me at night,

even in this small town where nobody used to

 

lock their doors. “You know the great thing about executions

In Texas?” he drawls, quoting Carlin. “Less Texans.” I slosh

 

Yuengling from the pitcher & don’t laugh. “We could use

less of ‘em around here, takin’ all the good work.” Hard

 

to blame him. Fracking pays better than almost any job here,

in what my dad calls Pennsyltucky, what I call home. Texas

 

frackers overrun this town like the forget-me-nots grown wild

in my roommate’s garden, first a patch, then a chokehold

 

of blue. “Oh Stan,” she purrs. “You’re such a cut-up.”

 

What’s the deal with humor anyway, I wonder. I killed

in there, the comic slurs, post-show. I slayed. We even laugh

 

violently. Let’s be more direct. I pillaged that audience.

Butchered them. I dragged that crowd’s sister

 

into the cornfield by her flimsy wrists. I don’t finish

my beer. “Crime rate’s up,” the boyfriend observes.

 

“These Texans ruin everything. Rape reports’ve tripled.”

“Seriously?” It’s the first time all night paid attention

 

to him. “That’s—” I thought we were done with jokes,

but it’s a setup. He cuts me off, reels back for the punch-

 

line: “I know, right? They should go home & rape

their own damn women.” My roommate

 

doesn’t smile. We don’t say a word.  

 

 

©2018 Emily Rose Cole

 

 

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"Poem in which you are Joan of Arc's Lover"

"She Remembers the First Time"

 

 

 

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