At the bus stop

She laughs

because she’s nervous, she says.

Around her neck a red ring,

where skin has been pressed

too tightly, too recently, too often

not to be noticed.

Fingerprints of love, she says,

and pulls her hair forward.

And I look once again at my phone

at the three never-dialed numbers.


I wrote this last night after encountering a woman being abused by her boyfriend. Luckily, he went away when I pretended to call the police.  Although I asked her to come with me to the police and/or hospital, she refused. Fortunately, a friend of hers came and she seemed to be in safer hands.

It’s a sad thing that partner violence, any kind of violence really, occurs. I wish she would have gone to the hospital at that moment.  Hopefully, she went later on.

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