You know when you’re walking and all of a sudden it’s not you walking anymore, it’s a figment of you. Your feet pound the pavement and avoid the cracks but you can’t feel the vibrations. That’s what numb is.
She was only seventeen.
Seventeen and two weeks.
Seventeen and negative two years.
Plus two months. It was like numb.
It was like novacaine. It was like heroin,
It was like forgetting and it was like remembering.
Bars on the windows foreshadowing the soon-to-be
Preacher staring between two metal bars and
His holey underwear. Briefs, not boxers,
Because boxers let his junk just sit
There and he didn’t like that.
But he liked.
She was only seventeen.
Seventeen minus two years.
Seventeen minus two years plus two months
And minus the novacaine and remembering.
There was no need to remember then.
You know when the rain hits your face so hard that it stings and sometimes it even hits your eyeball so
You squint for a few steps and readjust your umbrella and then the world is okay again? That’s resolve.
It was his blue Mazda.
His blue Mazda and him.
His blue Mazda pride and joy.
With pictures of him when he was
Just her age and needing a passport
Tucked into his glove compartment.
He was climbing in and there were people
Everywhere and they were saying farewell and
Goodbye and we’ll miss you and have fun and be
A good boy and good riddance and hold your breath
And promise me you’ll kiss me one last time before you leave.
Have you been here before?
Have you sat in these cold blue seats?
Do you remember the November you carried me?
Was that you or was that just a figment of you that was
I’m sure you’ve brought your little one her before,
When she was bleeding from the head after she fell
Off the metal chair in the gym and I carried her-
Screaming, twisting, contorting, bleeding- to you and your arms.
You brought her here in a hurry.
There has to be resolve.
Dear Judgie said the Larry, Moe and Curly
In her head. Say Dear Judgie but she couldn’t.
“Honorable Judge Sharon Armstrong,” she began.
How do I describe this? Just tell her how he ruined your life.
You know when you’re chopping vegetables and you’ve got a rhythm going and it’s taptaptap and then suddenly it goes out of synch and there’s blood on the sink and on the carrotcucumberlettucetomato and
A steak knife.
From the wooden cube knife-holder thing.
Up on the shelf away from the children and
Still close enough for me to grab
And asfastasIcan make three, four,
Five, okay maybe ten cuts, gashes,
Lacerations, mutilations. Wash it
Fast with Ajax dish soap and put it
Resolve is like that.
Resolve is like looking into someones eyes and saying:
Numb is what he made me feel.
Or maybe I felt numb before, she said.
Maybe I was always numb.
Maybe I slid out of my mother
Completely bloody and numb and
Crazy from the beginning.
At four pounds seven ounces I
Was already crazy and bloody and
Fucked up and numb, she said.
What else? How do you say everything
Without writing an plethora of words and
A million pictures that speak a thousand words
Each? How do I describe that everything
Inside me went
It was like resolve. It was my veins
Becoming easier to find and my food
Tasting like sawdust and my everything-
It was like that.
It was like a story with no end.
Just a “to be continued” and
No second volume.
You know when you write and write and write until your fingertips hurt from hitting the keys too often and too hard and finally you don’t know what to say or how to say it. That’s called numb resolve.
People say it’s easier after you remember,
After you fold it into an origami masterpiece, seal it with a kiss
And listen to it’s metallic ridged self bounce around the bottom of the
But, she says, I’ve remembered.
I’ve remembered his fucked up hands,
His fucked up face, his fucked up erection,
His fucked up smell and the way he wrapped me
In his coat and carried me to the emergency room.
I remember too much.
It’s all good and it’s all bad and because it’s both it’s