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Amelia Kramer / Her Campus

He didn’t hit me

But he collected my infractions

And lined them up on his desk like surgical knives,

Ready to make another incision

Into the little self-worth I had remaining.

He didn’t hit me

But when I refused sex,

He would grab my wrists tightly

Until they tingled of needles,

then went numb

And said that if I really loved him,

I would never say no.

He didn’t hit me

But he went through my phone while I was in the shower

And deleted every contact that was male.

I was a slut.

A whore.

A cunt.

Because I had those numbers in my phone.

If I was to be a good girlfriend,

I could not speak to the opposite sex.

He didn’t hit me

But he would follow me home

And would show up to my work

To make sure I was not lying about where I was going.

He didn’t hit me

But I was not allowed to wear makeup

Because that meant I desired the attention of other men.

And once, when I was brave enough

To brush some lipgloss on,

He punched a hole into his bedroom wall,

Right next to my head

And made me wipe it off.

He didn’t hit me

But the blood in his veins would turn black when he screamed

And I would curl up on the bathroom floor

Sobbing and cowering beneath him

While his hot saliva

Showered onto me.

He didn’t hit me

But when I threatened to leave

He would send a picture of a knife pressed against his throat

Almost piercing his waning skin,

Promising that he would take his own life

And it would be my fault.

He didn’t hit me

My wounds were not visible,

But I still have bruises

That will never go away.

He didn’t hit me

But I become a shell,

And begin to tremble

Every time I hear someone raise their voice.

He didn’t hit me

But I have dreams that he did.

and in those dreams there is blood,

Broken bones,

And bruises.

In my dreams,

There is proof.






April Carter is a Junior at USFSP studying education with a minor in American Lit studies. She is a peer coach on campus, a member of Sigma Tau Delta and Papercut Literary Journal, and a personal trainer. April has a strong passion for writing, reading and all things health and wellness. In her free time, you can usually find her reading, writing, or working out.
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