If he hits you once…

how many women hear it in a lifetime?
“If he hits you once, he’ll hit you twice”
I can only vaguely remember hearing in a movie a long time ago
I think of this phrase when women stay in abusive relationships
Because I like to think they have enough power to leave
Because I like to think they know things won’t change

Abusive husbands, boyfriends, fathers
How do they start?
Are they charming? Are they sweet?

What about the women?
The ones who tear through a man’s heart and body
With their claws, and growls, and demeaning words
“If she hits you once, she’ll hit you twice”
Boys never hear it, men become victims too

Today, I heard her screaming from the basement
Over some thing, some drama maybe
I heard her screaming, I heard him yelling
From the kitchen upstairs, 
I wondered how many times she cried
and yelled “I’m never coming back!”
I stopped counting after one

She would try to fix her hair
She would mumble that she did nothing wrong

I remain impassive.
I think, she wont stop going back to him until he kills her
Maybe he will, maybe he won’t
But she’ll return anyway

I dont know if she’s smart, or funny
I dont know what makes her smile
I dont know if she has family
I know the look in her eyes when they’re flooded and wet
I know how small she is
I know it must be hard to escape his grip

I watched her leave again today