a boy staggers to our side of the street
something was different, but he seemed sweet
drunkenly, i asked him if he was trippin'
she reprimands me for pointing it out
he looks scared, we tell him he's ok
he pulls her in, desperately
she holds him, possessively
bile from his belly escapes, stealthily, from his lips
it drips it drips it drips
onto her head
"It's ok it's ok it's ok"
she holds my joint to his mouth to settle his stomach
i don't want her to because i can see the gloss of bile still on his lips
he told us his name was Savannah, it wasn't
he staggered away from us to the other side of the street
to his car
"you forgot your jacket, please don't drive"
i approach, i hold his hand
he mistakes that as an invitation to kiss me
i ask him if it was his first night with Lucy
where are his friends?
"i don't know"
he cranks his key into the ignition in all the wrong ways
windshield wipers start going off, blinkers, headlights, the horn
i have the thought that maybe he thinks his car is a Bop-It
"walk with us, don't drive, ok?"
he steps out of the car
i lean into the car, finagling his keys out of the ignition
his face changes
he grabs every follicle of hair inhabiting the back of my scalp and throws me into the middle of Haight
"who the **** are you who the **** are you"
my body bag of bones smacks down on the pavement
i've never been assaulted by a stranger, only by people close to me
i want to hurt him before he could hurt me again
there's no one around to stop him from doing more
only her, but she doesn't see
and she couldn't, even if she wanted to
and neither could i
"i'm trying to help you, Savannah"
his eyes? black
chest? heaves like a rabid dog
heart? frightened beyond measure
he is strong and he is paranoid
his fear magnifies mine
i, in yet another encounter with a raging young white male...
in situations like this, what have other womxn done?
but i can't leave her
she's on the curb, talking about nothing
with some other random *******
she's testing out her drunk love eyes
they stand so close to each other
i tug her sleeve, begging to go
she's not hearing me
"please, let's go"
she waves me off
Savannah stares at me from across the street like a confused ape
giant eyes, easily threatened, could rip you apart at any second
i have the keys to my car, i can just go
i don't want him to hurt me again
i want to go, i want to go, but i can't leave her
"if you love me, come with me NOW, please"
that line always works in the movies, but life is not a movie
to my dismay
this catches her attention, but not in the way i want
she hunches and steps toward me,
"how dare you say i don't love you?"
"i'm scared, we need to go"
"do you know what i've done for you?"
she's still stepping towards me, i'm tripping backwards
"that's not what i meant, please let's go"
it's 2am in San Francisco
we're yelling, in front of a bar called Zem Zem
"he threw me into the street"
she's tripping on her own feet
i, in yet another encounter with a raging alcoholic that i love
what's to be done when they're in this state?
we woke up in my car where i'd parked it the night before
the side i'd landed on when Savannah threw me was a bit sore
she said we were both in the wrong
an act of violence is committed against me, and i'm wrong
what am i to you? i wonder
i could have left her
but that's against my programming
you know, the software some parents install
to ensure co-dependency and lack of individuality
i didn't have the strength to argue
that falls in line with my programming
sometimes our oppressors are the people we love most
if i believed in anything like spirits or supernatural beings,
this memory would be one of my beautiful little ghosts
life is so messy.