Content Warning: Sexual Assault or Rape

Lewis Carroll wanted to Fuck Alice

and it took a half decade to realize Coach
wanted to fuck me. A half decade to whittle

the lodestone of truth until it resembled still water
in a Marriott pool. I was swimming when he asked

Come to my room? That bitter divorcee and vestigial
I love you and an age gap of thirty years

inside a third space of a third space. Now, post-hoc,
come his excuses. Child fantasy, not pedophila-

so says Lebailly and leach of Carroll, too.
The truth is as we watched Memento in bed

his hand walked up my thigh. The truth is
the real Alice Liddell posed naked as her eponym

burnt like a trusted adult and the brightline
between assaulted and abused is a muzzle.

Fourteen-year-olds can’t consent but Coach promised
You’re more mature than any other teenager.

Now I pot milkweed sprouts in empty pill bottles. Alice steps into iridescence. Time hatches memory.

like a caterpillar hatches into gangrene.

First published in The Hunger at


About the Author

Byron Xu is a Government and Classics undergraduate and Larry E. Temple Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin. His work has appeared in The Liberator Magazine and explores themes of doubt, neurodivergence, and theodicy.