The Dark Side Of Paradise

Linus Eliasson

Palm trees
brown warm skin
red hot sundowns that kiss the bottom of the sea
pura vida
pura vida
except
don’t you dare go to the beach at night
because there are dozens of nameless women
raped in between the trunks of the palm trees

One man held down
by two men
while his girlfriend was raped before his eyes
they were just strolling back from dancing
wanted to watch the white moon
in paradise
it was dealt with
not with the police
by the two men who held down the rapist and drowned him
the next week

I am not sad he drank foam
instead of air

It’s paradise
except for the hotel with the large lizard
white dirty walls
window draperies stained with dust
I never liked the energy in there
steered clear
found out the owner was found dead
feet sticking out of a rinsing machine

It’s paradise
except for those three women on their quad who got mugged and raped by the river filled with crocodiles
in broad daylight
did you hear their shriekings?

It’s paradise
except for those young kids who get hoped up on cocaine and pull women off the dance floor at the full moon parties
or when they go to the bathroom
and take their turn inside of her
while the techno screamings

It’s paradise
except for the young girl
who a man tried to entice into the bushes
while I surfed with her father in the sea
she got out
but whose daughter didn’t?

It’s paradise except for those women who are too afraid
to hold “the mens” accountable
because this isn’t the USA
and the conference of the parties will ask you
what were you wearing?

I am mad at them
anyway
for leaving
on big jet planes
letting rapists roam free in the sunshine
leering and waiting

It’s paradise except for that morning I was checking the surf at 5 AM
and an Argentina ran by me screaming
there’s a man with a gun
there’s a man with a gun
go back to your house
close your windows

It’s paradise except when you get chased out of town
shot and bleed dry in the streets

I love it here
except when I feel the screams
muffled by the hands of men
as their entitled dicks
ram in and out
of a vagina that they claim
unasked
and then can walk into a cafe in broad daylight the next day
while people only whisper rapist
and give him his change

If you want to make a crime against the government
I don’t give a fuck

Rob a bank?
It’s money
I don’t give a fuck

But if you sell a woman’s body on the market
mug a child and medication her
maintain her in a room
where men in old blue t shirts
pay$ 5 to fuck her
before she’s hit puberty

If you rape
and take
the body of a woman
that is not yours
I give a fuck

Rape is unforgivable
in my eyes

My mamma said if anyone ever raped me
she would kill them
even if it meant going to jail for the rest of her life
and my souls agrees
if you take the flesh of a woman that is not yours
may you burn in the red hot coals of a hell I don’t believe in.

Janne Robinson is a poet and writer of

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