Left alone on a page — the word, Love — looks promising. A secret code; unhinged from meaning — without being empty exactly, but hollow nonetheless.
My boys call me and tell me when they beat their wives.
Remorseful, Emphatic. They tell me why it happened. How. They accept blame. It doesn’t happen all the time, I am told (only when they are drunk). They are not defensive, they sound tired and matter-of-fact. Defeated.
I protest. My outrage feels performed, used. They know my knives are blunt. They understand that I have left this battlefield and that I won’t trouble them with my uncomfortable, inconvenient rage. All I have left is an exhausting sadness.
My heart is in pieces, I tell them. They know.