Once, I slapped him,
hard enough to draw blood.
In retrospect there were
better ways to channel my anger,
but at that age,
I only knew that I wanted
his mouth to stop moving,
spewing lies like vomit,
or truths that I couldn't bear to hear.
Of course I spent the next half hour on my knees,
red welts lining my spine,

but if I had stood up to him more often
perhaps I would be able to stand today.