The following poem is one that I wrote a long time ago but don't perform often. Most recently, I performed it during the Edge of the World show this past summer.
For all the women who have ever endured domestic abuse . . .
Copyright 2002 by Michelle Myers
and she thought he had killed her
too often her lips splintered
by his hands that
she knew the taste of her blood but
this did not bother her as
much as the silent blindness
during the fact
or the tentative phone calls to make sure
she was still alive
after the fact.
what she really wanted wanted more than anything
was a human moment without fear—
such a moment to her seemed impossibly
unreachable now because she thought
he had killed her
her body fell like
something important had been broken
after his hands unclenched her throat
and tightened into colossal steely knuckles
that engulfed her entire line of sight
she felt her bones crumple
before she fell
when she looked she was surprised
that it wasn’t her love shattered
into bits on the floor but her teeth
skipping blood puddles
and splattering her white terry cloth slippers.
she never felt herself fall.
she glimpsed the shadow of his rubber soles
as they took flight over face
and she realized even
he thought he had killed her
pixie feet fluttered
around her throbbing ears and
she heard the voices of strange angels whispering
but to her
it sounded like
she might as well be dead.