In the night a car plowed sideways through our front yard
and left a tall cedar pointing into our bedroom window,
like a prosecuting attorney asking who
did what, when, where.
“Did you put on gloves?” a friend asked about my being
first on the scene. God I forgot. I wanted
to save someone. But limber as gymnasts
the drunk driver and passenger stuck their landing.
There was that time when Chris came shouting
into my kitchen and I tended her cut scalp,
tried to get her to call the police, stuck my anger
behind my face and just cleaned
the red sink, red counters, red floor.
No gloves. No saving.
And the time a man who needed a bath and clean clothes
heckled us marchers at a Pride parade.
Most of the women said Have a nice day and kept walking but
he called me a name whose invisible weight
tilted a scale inside me. I didn’t aim
for his face and miss.
I aimed for his hat brim
and it took his head with it.
What were you thinking? my lover shouted
as the man walked away fast, muttering.
God I don’t know. I wanted
to stop him. I wanted
to get his attention.
To make him afraid.
I wanted to be enormous
to save someone.
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