This daily dancing gouges
deep scars in heart and soul,
each time the dance restarts,
and round and round we go,
begging, pleading, apologizing,
showering me with love,
praise, promises, anything
that will keep the dance alive.

I think of the leopard stalking
the shadows, waiting, patiently
for its prey.
Hiding spots that can't be changed.

When the claws come out,
slashing, opening old wounds,
I am unwilling to continue.

I crawl away, mentally exhausted,
bleeding profusely from my soul.