in short,
i avoid her
not because i really want to
but because she can read me
like a book.

her eyes
can see through my disguses
& her voice
is like a wrecking ball to all the walls
i've put up.

i'm afraid
of her knowing the truth
—my battle within—
because i want to protect her from everyone
including myself.

i can't
hide this much longer.

after all,
she's not a baby anymore—
she's a 25-year-old woman
locked in the abused body
of a 16-year-old girl.

her eyes
will probe mine
& her voice
will softly ask
as my tears start to spill.

my words
will come out of me
in a torrent
(but i will avoid that day
for as long as possible).