are you scared of him?

"what do you mean?"

(a pause. i search for words.)

do you hate being around him?
have the urge to clench your fists,
grit your teeth, turn around & leave
when you see him?

"well. yes."
(but your eyes say no.)

do you have nightmares? want to
dig out your eyes at his touch,
cringe at his voice, feel like
a child when he looks at you?
vulnerable, fragile?

"not exactly."

so you can't understand it. can't.
why i don't hate him. it's all too

when i hear his laughter,
i want to curl up in a ball,
tuck myself into the corner &
never open my eyes again.
want to hide, fade far away,
away where he'll never find me:
run to kansas or nebraska,
paris or brazil.

anywhere, really, as long as he
doesn't know. somewhere i won't have to live in fear,
searching constantly, checking every face for
his profile. won't have to look up
at the sound of the door, certain it's him this time,
preparing myself for his teeth, his words.
never again feel that frozen moment of recognition
where i meet his eyes & can't look away,
hovering on the edge of apologizing,
begging his forgiveness, promising anything,
anything, just please stop looking at me.

(you are silent. there is nothing to say.)

an. idk sort of an experiment with dialogue