Roll Call

He calls me sweetheart like a slap to my face
Honey precious baby
I’m his little saccharine girl
The sound of my name from his lips
Makes grenadine drip sticky red trails from the corners of his mouth
The way he calls me-Babygirl
With all the mawkish sweetness of stale Pez candy

His pet names hit like punches
He calls me lovely like a slur
Baby girl

Slaps across my face and rings in my ears
I swear I hear gunshots

Hot mouth loaded weapon

Aimed at my breasts

All his nick names whisper like curses

Seeping out of his mouth

Rancid breath spewing- The stench of bile and decay

I can feel his pinch in my ribs as he wraps his arms around me
His hands leave invisible prints along my waist

The dirt from his nails leaves stains on the flesh of my hips

Sweetie,

Baby

Honey

His words pour out like molasses
Cloying

Sweet
I feel bile rise in my throat
I see the grotesque pulling of his muscles

Taut against his hard teeth

His words are nicknames I cannot shake

From a trauma I cannot leave

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