i do not forget

what it is to hate you. to
see you approaching and feel
my stomach twist and
a cold sweat break out.

yet even as i
freeze with fear and disgust,
i am ashamed. and
inclined to please you,
appease you.

anything to keep you from
falling to the ground,
blaming me for your anger,
pain, misery.

burning eyes, deep-set
in your handsome face. and
groping, digging hands.

the memory that keeps me up
all night - every night - is not
that of your arms, or your eyebrows,
or your harsh, frightening words -

no, it is your hands, your bitten nails,
stealing so many things
you swore were yours to take.