Thursday, October 10, 2013

To Go

She is truly seeing stars-
and sight hindered,
                            grasps for a hand that is not
He had
taken a clean swipe; walked out, unfazed.

Untouched for
           she had fooled herself into thinking
                                                     those days were over.
The flesh on her cheek burns where he struck her.
She wonders how, anymore, she can still feel stunned and she blinks away fresh tears.
        She needs not
She needs to think.
She needs to take
her chance.
When her vision clears, she glances up and to the right, hoping to God, he hasn't found her
She listens for him - the
telltale clink of his keys when he
digs them from his pocket; the clop of his
             monstrous, heavy work shoes making their way down the driveway-
sharp as a night creature anymore.
She knows,
most likely, he'll be gone for hours,
         is at the bar....or with the other woman.  No-
          she cannot
She rises more quickly than she should-
She needs to leave now, but she sits on the
     edge of her bed for one brief second to collect her thoughts and to will herself still.
            She is shaking.
When at the bookcase, her fingers gently
                                     sweep the dust off one shelf,
                                                then pluck down the first book.  The money
is still
She feels like she is floating.
Tens, twenties,
one fifty.
Will it be
She grabs another book, then another,
quickly stuffs the now fat wad into her pocket,
glancing, occasionally behind her.
                                            He does not read, but is arrogant and just stupid enough to pride himself on the many books he owns.
                    He is a man of appearances.
Urbane, reserved, quietly rigid.  He plays his self created role well.
                                                 He is well respected and refined but she knows his
Has harbored,
             of some senseless
                 sense of shame,
the truth
of his often calculated violence,
    his clandestine affairs, his double life;
                   suppressed concreteness of his cruelty, at times, from even self.
But she knows.
        He is a fake.
More than
          this- he is mean.
Unpredictable, too,
and by design, she never knows just what will
               spark the kindling inner rage, uncage his brutal savagery.
                She never knows what imagined
                                                   injury she might inflict with innocent words,
                                                                                     what motive he might infer.
                                                                                      What she does know is that he will return with reasons. Reasons weighted with blame.
      She has learned the rules, grown clever
              at hiding weakness and emotion.  He has
changed her.  She is not the girl who stood, shivering on the pier in a white, long, but wispy, too thin dress
                                                                                                                          believing promises.
That girl who pictured a happy little nest of a home took flight, perhaps, with the seagulls, before they'd even left their honeymoon.  For when they'd made love that night, it was not.  He was unceremonious and vulgar and scoffed when she wept.
                     has taught her who not to
She does not question when he speaks, his mouth frothing with lies,
       distrusts, now, the slobbering apologies, infrequent as they are  His nostrils give away what's close, flaring with an undeserved and misplaced hate, a sign that a second round is coming.
He revels at any rare instance he
might catch her frazzled and off guard.
      He will return.
Fear is rising in her throat.
         She needs to go.

The Sunday Whirl

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