Looking back it’s better that you stayedhome. You would have crushedher. But I remember coming backto the house, dark and silent, knowingyou were sleeping. It was startingto look worse but not the worst, just yet.I washed it,disinfected, careful not to wake you.Polysporin, band-aids, wince. Quietlycurled up under your arm.Sent a photo to another time zone: Lookwhat this randombitch did to my beautiful wingPurred to myself at leastit wasn’t my face my face overand over again—the welts not yettwo red new stars.There was something peacefuland awful about it—I was in control,it wasn’t that bigof a deal—you having no idea until the morning. My armturned green, then black. At least it wasn’t my face.I have an empty house, a hard time askingfor help, and a horrible set of newcrescents above my elbow. Bonus of a long tunnelwhere the memory should be—sharp blue nails,some lights, but mostly overwhelming guilt. I take it back.I take it back. No use waking you up,everything was okay. I wish I had told youit wasn’t. You said the scar makes melook gentle. It doesn’t. But I love that you said it.I wasn’t okay. I take it back.