I like to avoid thinking of
The man who hurt me.
I like to feel as though
It’s over,
As though
His face doesn’t
Fill my dreams
Some nights. 
I like to feel as though
The person who he was
Is gone,
As though
He’s all better now,
As though i’m not
Still afraid of him. 
I like to read books of abuse
And not relate. 
I still go with him
I still don’t always stay home
When I have that sloshing
In my stomach.
A voice
In my head
Tells me
“If it’s gonna get better,
You have to challenge yourself
It could be worse.”
Maybe the voice is right. 
After all, 
Not everyone sees him
As something to be afraid of
And weary around. 

When my grandparents brought me
Into the living room
And told me
That my mother 
Had accused him of child abuse,
Which wasn’t really true,
I was the accuser, 
But still,
I don’t think they
To hurt me,
I felt scared. 

I don’t like to introduce him as
Who he is.
I like to detach
His actions
From his relationship to me,
Telling people
“My father”
“The man who hurt me”
Is much easier than accepting
That he is both 
And getting the invading looks
That come with
That seemingly conflicting statement.