Abuse is subtle Nothing friends see I'm blamed for his mistakes He credits my work to himself. Observes I'm “almost” thin enough Implies small things lacking If only I were smarter, prettier, quieter He laughs when I fail Photographs my clumsiness Ignores my success Mumbles under his breath the whispered threat “I’m getting angry.” He pouts childlike when ignored Hovers over me in arguments He buries the kitchen table in papers Resists clearing it even for parties. Holds my arm tightly lest I leave The Christmas tree he promises to take down remains up until Easter. His hatchet for cutting up chicken for the dogs rests against the hoosier. It gives me pause. He harangues me while I book vacation. I select the seats. I'm in 13A He’s in 32B.