Choking by Compressing Someone’s Neck is Not Considered Assault* by Deborah Hauser

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Unless there is evidence that the victim suffered physical injury

    other than suffocation
    or death

Choking often leaves few or no visible signs

     it’s a private domestic dispute
                mind your own business    
     we never heard a thing
Batterers have an incentive to choose choking and suffocation over other forms of attack

    “batterer”    coward who beats a woman

        not to be confused with:

    battered         one who has been beaten repeatedly
    batter              a baseball player swinging a bat
    batting            cotton wadding, useful for first aid
    barter              a trade, economic dependence = silence, or
    cake batter     a semi-liquid mixture
                                         maybe he won’t beat me today if I bake him a cake

43% of women who were murdered by intimate partners had experienced at least one episode
     of choking before their killing

    “episode”         30 minute sitcom installment
                            a finite period in which someone is affected by a specified illness
                            a section between two choric songs in Greek tragedy
“before their killing”

     their: plural possessive adjective
                referencing the aforementioned now murdered and dead women

     killing: noun
                 an act causing death, esp. deliberately
Called 911 and reported that he had ripped off her clothes, thrown her against a dresser and
       choked her

        Sp. C H O K E

        Def. [transitive verb]
                  hinder or obstruct the breathing of (a person or animal
        esp. a female one is acquainted with)

    Use it in a sentence:
                   I nearly choked trying to parse the syntactic rhetoric of these unnamed    
women who somehow possess their own death by being choked

       Opp.:  None

Mr. Johnson was not arrested

       he said he was sorry that she had it coming
               harassment in the second degree is not even a misdemeanor
       she had an order of protection

Final Jeopardy

you would be arrested for doing this to a  stranger but you are socially sanctioned to do
        this to your wife, girlfriend or child
    what is “choking?”


Deborah Hauser is the author of Ennui: From the Diagnostic and Statistical Field Guide of Feminine Disorders (Finishing Line Press, 2011). She graduated from Stony Brook University with a Masters in English Literature. She has taught at Stony Brook University and Suffolk County Community College. Her poetry has been published in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, Dogwood, and DASH. She has read her poetry at the Northeast Modern Language Association, New York University, Stony Brook University, Newman University, and Bluestockings. She has presented her academic work at conferences including the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference and graduate conferences at The City University of New York and Stony Brook University. She is a contributing editor at The Found Poetry Review. She leads a double life on Long Island where works in the insurance industry when she isn’t writing poetry.