THE LAST TIME HE HIT HER
The neighbors venture from their cocoons,
alerted by the sound of the sirens —
watching as the police handcuff him again
as he pleads with his wife for one more chance
he’s sorry, so sorry, he shouldn’t have hit her so hard
he cries as the paramedics
lift the gurney onto the ambulance. He notices
that she’s covered in blood, lying quiet, while she
bleeds so much more than the other times. She
turns her head at his pleads, trying to see him
through her swollen eyelids.
There are so many things she wants to say –
to him, to the police, to the paramedics.
She wants to explain why she stays.
Instead, as the neighbors wander back to their cocoons,
she closes her eyes for the last time.