An Ode To My Batterer

You did it over a period of years. I don’t have
quite the same amount of time. You did it
methodically, it was prolonged spiritual
agony, you wanted to make me tiny,
to shrink me beyond that, then melt
me into an even smaller piece. I cried, I miss
trusted my friends, my parents, even myself,
then I was gone. I left, then came back when

you promised things would be different, then
left again. Again. This time I stayed away, yet you
have come after me, time and time, time
and time again. This time you have
caught me, a beast painted into
a corner. The mistake you made was
not in cornering me, but in coming
into the corner with me. Now I have
you. I don’t have the time, I don’t have
the patience to make this last, nor the will
to sustain it. This is my fury. I will lash

you to the chair. Where do I begin, a finger,
a toe, the thumb, no, not the eye, not yet. First
I will stick a pin under each fingernail, the pin
which makes you scream the loudest will
be the finger that gets cut off last. A finger, a
thumb, the big toe, a pin in the pupil
of the eye. A scissor snip of the lip, a razor
cut on the cheek, an eyelid gone. I can’t
understand what you are saying, there goes
the left ear. One spike in the left calf muscle,
a hammer to the right kneecap, water in
the face to bring you back to consciousness.
It is amazing how much punishment the body
can take, another finger, the other thumb,
when you scream this time I will spray
ammonia into your mouth, that mouth

that inflicted such pain over years, maybe
now you’ll scream with your mouth shut
when I set your hair on fire. I don’t think
I have the heart for this, I can’t
go on, even if I burn my hands
in the fire of your hair, now is the time
to tip your head back,

cut your throat.

It’s not over
for me, you fucker, at night you

come to me in my dreams.