That I misinterpreted his ability
to write journals of insightful poetry
To then mean that he could easily read me.
But the lines at the corners of my eyes
Were seen by him to be only a beautiful sign of aging
And no amount of lyrical lines on a page
Could ever be expressed to him in such a way
That he might then gain an understanding.
Nights of torturous questioning,
words screamed in angered supposition
As another man’s jealous accusations were hurled
Yanking me violently from my slumber
like Cyclonic winds ripping at skin
exposing the skeleton Of some imagined hidden secrets.
Denying sins I had never committed
Giving exacting accounts and details of every minute
Spent out of his presence until such time as he was satisfied
That my eyes weren’t hiding behind them
Beatings for affairs never came
with ample warning in which to escape them
And my attempts to escape from him where always thwarted
By my bodies inability to go without sleep
For that seemed to always be the time in which he captured me
Glaring down with eyes of murderous contempt
His lungs consuming stale air like the bulls charging in Pamplona
Until fists crushed bones like ice
Shattering the security found only in dreamless coma.
And for me, there came no justice
fighting endless night after another
Police gritting their teeth
inspecting fresh bruises coloring my cheek
Saying to me
“That’s what you white bitches get when you marry brothas.”
And, please, would someone tell me who the hell
Orders of protection serve to protect
To a man who worries not if newspapers
print stories about his crimes
After he’s sent home from doing state time STILL on paper
Years spent contemplating and
seduced by the plotting of his revenge.
For him, not a question of right or wrong,
First steps of freedom upon concrete lead him directly
Into the direction of the city
where I laid my head at night
Locks on doors in hidden buildings are no protection.
Not from a man consumed
by imagined thoughts of my indiscretions
Sensations tingling for slight seconds
before knuckles met flesh.
Only the sandman heard me confess that this time
for living on the run is slow torturous execution for the crime
Of only attempting of to protect myself.
So forgive me if even though years have passed
I still don't sleep lightly.
Nightmares of the nightmare I survived from
Still taunt me,
and the demons of my past are so haunting
That napping for half hour increments
Leave the skin around my eyes wrinkled.
Though now, the new love I’ve just discovered
Doesn’t understand that
when he pulls the covers over our heads
So as to make love to me in the safety of our bed
I just feel…
Though I may be insecurities about my body
I insist that we still leave the lights on
With a hidden knife close by head
And when he kisses away
the tears from my colorless cheeks
After he shaken me awake from night terrors he
He whispers sweet, healing poetry
Naively thinking his rhymes can erase these lines
around my eyes
But what he does not know
is that while he rest there comfortably
In the bed at night sleeping
I instead like awake waiting