Love Is Not Abusive

Sprint out the door the first time he lays
a hand on you, there shouldn’t be
a second time; do not stay in a relationship
if someone continually oversteps
their boundaries in your life
—broken legs, bruised ribs, busted lips,
and black and blue eyes are not accessories—
when you have to hide behind huge sunglasses
and cake on pounds of makeup to cover up
the darkness around you or paint a smile
on your face—that is not love—
fear is not an ingredient
abuse is not a special gift.