Orange Media Network


Orange Media Network


Orange Media Network



Artist Feature: Annasia Johnson

Photography by Annasia Johnson.

The following pieces deal with themes of sexual assault.


It Crept on Me

Its the anniversary of that stupid night and it crept on me
like the guilt that should be sleeping with you. The
anniversary of the rape and about two years too late
to report it to anyone who could care, if anyone could.
The scent of you lingers too faintly now and I long to
hide it in a jar for safekeeping, to suffocate it and set it
free on the night that you apologize. It would be the only
evidence I’d have of the innocence you ripped from me,
my pathetic proof of the courage I could never seem to find.
On the anniversary of our moment, I smell like the over-
whelming body wash of a new man, a scent you would
never wear. The memory of you is the most I can do to
keep myself from spiraling on days and nights like these
where you remind me of how stupid we looked afterwards.
You thought I was going to yell at you for what you did and
I didn’t want you to feel bad. On our anniversary I long for you
to remember and I pray for it to gnaw at you too


Friday Night

The fifth floor hallway was warm that night, mirroring my chest that buzzed from one-too-many sips of Jose Cuervo. I walked out of his room and continued down the hallway alone with my conflicted and slightly disoriented mind. It was split in two because I was happy I had sex for the first time, but sad that I was taken advantage of. And I was happy to see my friends, yet bummed they were two floors apart from me.
As I walked through the building, the white molding that cut through the tan paint on the wall guided me in the direction of the stairwell. Minutes earlier when I was still in his room, I called my friends and told them to wait up for me. I could see the night sky through the hall window and I’m sure they wanted to go to bed, but I had a profession.
With my hair awry, I hurried toward the staircase door and swung it open. The clamorous stomp of flip-flops bounced off of the stone stairs to the cinder block walls as I sprinted down the steps. The echo of my shoes sang throughout the stairwell and harmonized with the maniacal giggles that escaped my tequila-and-man flavored mouth. As I fumbled for the support of the wooden railing, I couldn’t contain the confused mutters that escaped me. I had to tell someone how I felt, even if just myself in that moment. Excited and pissed, all at the same time. Time skipped, and I found myself sprinting down the third floor hallway. It skipped again and I spawned in my friend’s lilac-lit dorm room to tell both girls what happened.
I giggled and I cried and I’m sure I revealed the truth. I told them I had sex and they matched my drunken energy and cheered. Like men, they loved me best inebriated. Then I told them he raped me and I was met with blank stares and perhaps a furrowed brow or two. I let my gaze drop to the floor, looked up at the wall, and then stared at the floor again. I snuck a glance at them and saw them eyeing each other but I brushed it off because though I could infer what those looks meant, I didn’t want to feel worse than I already did.
I cried in front of them and witnessed a bit more concern form on their faces and they struggled to spit out words of comfort. Afterwards, I said it didn’t matter that he raped me because at least I got to slap him. Their half-sympathetic speeches paused. They scolded me with their eyes, but I eased the tension by saying it was more of a tap. I took my drunken hand and patted one of them just to show just how soft and gentle and sweet I was to the rapist. They relaxed.
I wrestled with the idea of reporting the situation the night after it happened, but the mixed responses from them and my other friends made me hesitate. Eventually, I decided not to. Intuitively, I knew what had happened was wrong and so did he, but I couldn’t find it in me to do anything about it. And I couldn’t fully relieve myself of the blame either. In the words of Seneca, “I went there freely…. I felt special. I felt bad.”




Biography: Annasia Johnson was born and raised in Sacramento, California until she moved to a small town in Georgia. She often writes about characters who’ve experienced poverty, sexual trauma, and more. Annasia is an undergraduate student at Oregon State University.

Artist Statement: Much of my work’s inspired by my college experiences, especially freshman year when I was raped in the halls. The complex emotions that are difficult to navigate inspired some of the poems and nonfiction pieces I’m most proud of. My writing explores intense, conflicting feelings and also themes of feminism, love, and romance. Writing is a powerful tool that helps me work through my trauma, relate to others, and say the things I’m not always able to. I like to be raw, vulnerable, and honest so that people who’ve endured similar traumas can find work that resonates with them.

Social Media: @grl.png on Instagram

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Selene Lawrence
Selene Lawrence, Student Correspondent
Selene Lawrence (she/they) is PRISM’s student correspondent and online editorial assistant. She is an author, poet, musician, and visual and textile artist. Selene is pursuing a major of her own design: Traditional, Folkloric, and Popular Cultural Studies for Mass Media Communications with a writing minor.

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