Winter 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 1 Poetry |

Confession

"He never really hit me, and anyway it was so long ago. Yes, there were some other things, but never was there hitting. Sometimes he'd twist my arm hard behind my back, then push it up until it felt as if it might break off. Occasionally he'd hold my shoulders tight then yank me to him and lean down until our faces were so close that I could see his pores and then he'd scream You are so weak, what have you DONE the last ten years? And then he'd throw me backwards in disgust; I'd fall against a table or a chair or, one time, back into the empty tub. Once he bounced me off the corner of a wall, I hit the tile floor so hard, my eye already swelling and vertigo setting in and I looked up at him, I felt confused you know at what he'd done and why and he was looking down at me, his arms loose at his sides, his face impassive and his mildest voice just curious: What did you DO to yourself? he asked me, but I couldn't find the words to speak at first and then I saw he'd left the room. I got

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