Belts & Buckles

Sometimes when he hit me I was able to pretend it wasn’t really happening. I was able to untangle myself from my own bones and stand some distance away from my body. The first time he hit me, I urinated.

 Today, he closed the door with the heel of his shoe. I knew he was angry. I prepared myself for an argument. But when he unbuckled his belt I was confused. We had sex regularly. Sometimes I wondered what ‘making love’ might feel like. This time though he didn’t drop his belt to the floor, instead, he began wrapping some of it around his palm. I stood unblinking, fighting away the possibility of what was about to happen.

 Once he left, I stepped into my body. The pain came about in whispers. First my back, then my thighs, my chest, my cheeks and finally my entire body began pulsing. I didn’t move. My right arm sat behind my head, my legs strewn across the floor. I felt wet patches next to me, and on the carpet underneath me.

 I let the water mother me. The droplets straddled the bruised lumps that had formed on my back and legs. I leaned against the wall of the shower inspecting my bloodied skin.

 I felt tender.  I dragged my feet and inched closer to the bed. Dropping my towel, I crawled under the covers and closed my eyes.

 I felt him next to me. The pain returned in a wave. He moved closer. I kept my eyes closed. His mouth touched my ear. I heard him shift around and suddenly the covers were pulled away from me. I lay there, naked and purple and red. My eyes spring open.

 Once he finished, he left. He didn’t put the covers over me. I pulled my knees to my chest and tasted salt on my lips.

He’d left his belt behind. I watched it on the bed beside me. I reached over, touching the metal and then the leather, the little holes inches apart from one another. I pulled it towards me. It felt heavy in my hands.

I forced my body out of bed and slung the belt around my shoulders. I moved toward the mirror and peered at my reflection. The colour of my skin had turned maroon, like an apple that had gone bad.

Tie one end of it to the door knob

Buckle around my neck

I call for him. I call for him to watch.

I put my hands between my breasts while I wait.

He walks in

I tighten

a sound leaves his mouth

the buckle breaks my throat


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