A Reverse Timeline of Domestic Abuse
Image Source: “Time is an Illusion” by vickysandoval22 is licensed under CC BY 2.0[Trigger warning: This poem contains mentions and discussions of physical assault and relationship violence.]
Someone had once called her eyes
“beautiful like a summer sunset.”
She walks sidewards into
a low hung-ceiling, then curses.
Her swollen eye, red and yellow,
is taking longer to heal today.
A baby cries in the corner.
A woman lies on the floor, bruised.
She closes her eyes, as
Then they cover her face. Whole.
“I’m so sorry”, a man holds her
to his chest. “I’m still
The sentences backspace into time
falling over each other.
They’re sucked into a
vacuum, like unsaid apologies.
A shiver crawls down
her honeymoon dress. He hasn’t spoken for
fifty-seven seconds now. He finally does,
then pushes her down to the
ground. Tears flow into the soil.
Drip drop. Saltwater.
A perpetual kiss
He rages out of the room
in the middle of the night.
A clock strikes and naked bodies
Scattered clothes fly back
onto two separate humans.
The light in her eye
wanes from red
Her barstool unwrinkles, as she
walks in reverse,
her footsteps zigzaging back to
The night smells of champagne
and a second date.
A song plays on the radio.
Two sets of laughs
into silent hello’s.
choking on all things
it never said.
An unfinished melody is a bad omen.
One fine day,
a man and a woman bump into
“Your eyes”, mutters the man.
like a summer sunset.”