the chase

you knocked the wind out of my sails
just when I could breathe again
lulled into complacency
you flipped a switch
and there we were
facing each other
over the dinner table
you were angry
fisting a piece of paper
as if you’d wring the pulp out of it
I watched your eyes
and I was stunned by the swirling
the depravity I witnessed
in those depths
I was no longer dealing with a man
but an animal overwrought by rage
it was terrifying
I had to gauge how many steps
to the kitchen door
to the running car on the side of the road
waiting to whisk me away
would I make it, I wondered
or would it end in a kitchen bloodbath
would it make the small town newspaper
how long before it was hushed and forgotten
it felt like hours of thought
but it was only a few minutes
trying to speak
you wouldn’t allow even that
with your jaw clenched tight
and the threat still hovering in the air
I was young and could run fast
but you were insane again
so you had powers I couldn’t touch
we watched each other
across the table
you only had to give the slightest move
and I was gone, turning, running as fast as I could
up the short hill
toward the car where my friend was screaming
she leaned over and opened the door
as she slowly started moving
I leaped and tumbled into the front seat
hindered by your grasp of my leg
but I kicked free
and you bent the car door
as it pulled away
and you were forced to let go
conceding was not in your vernacular
this would continue
another day
another quiet street
tainted and corrupted by you
and your inadequate show of affection
it was and never will be a way to win me
for though I am made of strong stuff
I really like softness and gentleness
and you can never get beneath
the silky steel of my armor again

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