All the signs are there.

The signs that this isn’t it.


Pay attention to when he asks for the passwords to your social media accounts.

He’ll use it to download your entire Facebook data.

He’ll get a detailed history of all your activity.

He’ll get all the status updates,

all the posts,

all the messages,

all the photos,

all the videos,

and more…

from the minute you opened your account.


Pay attention to when he asks you

"what’s the biggest thing you’ve ever killed?" during a game of 21 Questions.

You’re left speechless because it’s such an odd question,

You answer:

“either a cockroach or a rat in a trap”

and he shares that back in Jhelum, Pakistan,

 he used to kill chickens

 with his own hands

—for fun.


Pay attention when you can’t tell if he’s joking about killing chickens,

how he says,

 it’s so easy to snap a neck,

how with a simple twist,

life’s over.


Pay attention to when he shares the story of how he cracked open another boy’s skull,

against a school locker,

during his Sophomore year

before you had even met him.


Pay attention to when he tells you

 how he got his nickname,


how he’d gotten into a fight

 with a kid in middle school,

where he’d knocked the boy

on the floor

and stepped on his face,

how he shares that all the kid could do was look up

and mumble

“Why is the sky blue?”


Pay attention to how jealous he gets when a male classmate simply talks to you,

how angry he gets when another male just says “Hi!” to you.






not a single one of your guy friends can say hi to you anymore.

Pay attention when you start to feel the the “hell” in his “hello.”

You don’t need any more signs now.


Leave him when he knocks out your male friend,

in the hallway and nearly gives him a concussion just for talking to you.

Swear to yourself that you’ll leave.

 Ignore him.


But he won’t leave you alone.

He continues to tell you that he loves you. 

He keeps talking to you even if you don’t utter a word back.    


“I didn’t mean it. That’s not the real me. I don’t know what came over me,”

he’ll apologize to you,

in person,

over the phone,

through texts...

He promises that he just lost his anger for the moment.


 One moment he calls you a slut,

a whore,

even a prostitute.

The next moment he’s apologizing.

He says that it won’t happen again.

He says he’s changed.

He says he’ll make it up to you.

Over and over,

He says:

“I didn’t mean it. That’s not the real me. I don’t know what came over me.”


One day he will stomp on your foot


On purpose.

You will feel a soul-crushing,

crippling pain,

 unable to even take a step away.

When you do take a step, 

it will feel like you are stepping

on chards of glass.


Another day he will spit a Snickers bar onto your face,

 leaving you horrified,

wiping away a mixture of tears,

 globs of chocolate,


and saliva,

from your eyes,


and cheeks.


Then one day,

his veiny,

 muscular hands,

wrap around your throat,

like a tightened noose.


He begins to apply pressure, 

choking the air out of you,

leaving you gasping for dear life,

only letting his grip loosen when he sees you start to become unresponsive.


You still don’t go to the police.


The arguments are getting more and more out of control.

He ends up elbowing you in the face.

Your breath is shortening,

 stomach churning,

throat clenching,

 brows furrowing,

thoughts racing,

heart throbbing,

knees wobbling,

palms sweating,

mind spinning,

hands shaking,

lip quivering,

mouth drying,

eyes burning,

 and then watering.


You touch your face with your palm,

 realizing he has left your bottom lip

 with a gaping, bloody wound.


You’re embarrassed.

You were the one who chose him.

You fought with your own family to be with him,

you went against their wishes.

Now, what will they say?


If you call the police,

 it means he’s going to have to face the consequences.

What will happen to him?

You don’t want him to get into serious trouble for a momentary loss of his temper.

He’s not always like this.

You’re not trying to ruin his life.


But you know that this,

most definitely,

isn't a healthy relationship.


This isn’t love.

This poem is about: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


Alvin Lee

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