She wore her face on his jackbooted foot,
Kicked and stamped on.
She knew she was dirt.
The razor flash of his eyes told her so.
His spittle sprayed ‘slag’, ‘whore’, ‘cunt’
Into the dark creases of her face, her ugly face.
She wore the bite mark on her hand
Like a chattel.
Could not divorce,
Could not pawn it to buy powdered baby milk.
She knew her place,
Saw it written in lipstick blood on the bathroom mirror.
Knew this pain was her fault.
The iron scorched his shirt.
His fist scorched her temple, tore into her.
Took her down into that crouched ball
That bounced off walls and door frames.
Bullied bruises tattooed her flesh.
Hidden behind her childrens’ eyes
Each re-run was a film they could not write about
In their school morning diaries.
Could not act out in playground chases,
But saved them for the streams of night time dreams,
For the anger that would lash out at others,
The tears that could not come,
The heroin that would dumb down,
The secret silence that hated her for staying.