A Not-So-Merry Christmas

This isn’t poetry.

There’s no way to poetically word
how your fist hit my cheek or how
your hands wrapped around my neck so tight I wore a scarf until New Years.

365 days have passed and I still remember how I spent Christmas;
with a bottle in one hand
and an ice pack in the other.

Trying to soften the bruises
and ease the swelling caused by
your not-so-sweet hands while you were nowhere to be found.

I spent it alone while you were probably out with her again.
Maybe I tried calling you,
if I did you didn’t answer.
That’s something I don’t need to
think hard about.

That’s something I was used to,
you disappearing after etching your fingerprints into the valleys of my skin, leaving reminders like
red ribbons on my forearms.

Yet it was never a gift, more like
a painful reminder of the present.

Hoping to forget your hate-filled words you spewed from the bottom of the stairs.
Hoping to not remember the fear that had risen in my chest,
hearing your footsteps get closer
as I lay in the dark.

I’ve always feared the dark,
but it comforted me more in times of pain than you ever had.

Now I lay in the dark,
bottle in one hand.. pen in the other.
I spent Christmas alone again,
this time by choice.

For these memories are the reason
I find the holidays not so jolly.
I’d rather just forget.

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