"you shut the hell up,"
she watches out the window, curious.
boys with colored sweat mold their fists
into slabs of ocean, beating on a boy with
straw-colored skin. she figures she knows
his parentsthe brown-eyed, doe woman
who is probably abused and the husband
with the dark, thick hands.
she watches as his freckles are doused
in blood, a thick goopy wine-color while
their hands attempt to break skin, to
break this town.
the window is spattered with the remains
of insects and she watches them converge,
all at once, into a semi-circle around his
oval body, disjointed and married to the
ground. she hears tennis shoes and a
scream and she watches his hands turn
into a sun, splaying out five-fingered,
before wilting. not a sun, but a sunflower,
covered in blood like bees, the sweetest
she does not stop to see if his bone pops
out. she does not watch the sloppy saliva
escape their mouths with fervor. she lets
the blinds down when the boys leave on
broken-bottle skateboards, and the boy
twists into a fetal position, calling out
softly about the sky and birds and his
mother's soft, removing hands.
she can't glance at the phone; she can't
imagine calling his parents, "your son,
he's on the ground, a stew of blood that
may or may not be his, your fifteen-year-
old son with the arm that was cracked
all along like a fracture line, laying in
the middle of the road, calling for you."
she can't imagine their bodies, running,
falling in step next to him, clasping their
hands towards god and asking for a relief,
for a miracle.
her kids sit in the corner, at the kitchen
table, dressing a barbie in pastel colors
and turning papers into rainbows. they
are in their school uniforms, dappled and
sunny, hushed and giggly. the light peering
through the window brushes back their skin
like a father would, gently.
she turns her head, afraid.