They Say "Don't be a Victim"
They say that all arguments are fifty fifty–
no one can argue with you unless you let them,
as if you could just hang your arms at your side,
as if his anger would glide away like a snake.
They say you must have a lot of anger in you,
tell you you need to forgive him to move on,
say you were foolish to believe him.
An hour ago they didn't know your name.
They say that you will never had a good relationship
unless you understand the one you were in.
Until you learn all the ways that you are broken,
you are not to wonder about his threats, his lies,
the way his eyes changed before he hit you.
You need to make a list of your own sins.
You need to explore how your family created you.
You must eat stone after stone until
you meet and fall in love with another
will surely be just like him.
Heather Beatty is a poet and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in the Paterson Literary Review, San Diego Poetry Annual, Gertrude, and Lief. She lives in St Paul, Minnesota with her family.