the terror i tried so hard to explain
isn't something easily recreated with words.
it's harder than that: deep-down-inside &
bubbling up into my chest, throat.
it spills from my lips in senseless apologies,
in "it won't happen again" & "it was my fault."

it's the kind of fear that leaves me
gasping on the kitchen floor,
praying to a god i've never believed in
to keep me safe from a ghost,
from his fists & words & razor blades.

the feeling of being unable to run
in the middle of a nightmare -
it doesn't compare to this. this real-live-fear,
the indisputable knowledge that
there is always a wrong choice,
& if you choose it, the consequences
may not be fatal, but they'll be close.

(you say i should stop running from the past,
but if i slow down, i'll have to face that fear,
& i just don't think i can.)