There wasn't really time for it, she said.
Across the table, she's all split lip and stitches,
a busted cheekbone underscoring the smile
in her eyes.
I picked it up after he hit me again, and
I paid him back.
Her fingerprints are still on the table,
the whorl of the left pinky almost
gone, melted when he held her hand
on the range. Can you tell me
why you did it, I hear myself ask. Except
I know I sound like a cheerleader and
the scoreboard has frozen at 'Tilt'.
There isn't time for that, now is there? a
smile on her teeth and it doesn't reach her
eyes, not this time. Cigarette in
the ashtray and I let her out of the room,
a service piece in her hand as she walks back
to where we left him. I lock the door.
The ashtray goes in the trashcan and her
file follows, smoke biting at the ceiling where
I've already turned off the detectors.