Fist Shaped Kisses

Photo by Mad Otaku
She slaps my face and I don’t move

My cheek flares in shades of red

Her hand cuts through the air

The sound of it cracking into my skin

Echoes through the halls of the small apartment

I stand there like an unmovable oak

She swings again

Her hand was closed

Her rings raked my soft skin

Currents of crimson streaked my face

I would never hit her

I was raised better

She wasn’t

But love makes you do stupid things

Trying to prove how much you cared

By bleeding on the kitchen floor

I can’t even remember what started it all

I think I made chicken

I think it was lemon chicken

She doesn’t like lemon chicken

I think I knew that

But I forget sometimes

Her left hand’s knuckles crack into me ear

The ringing is intense as I stumbled

She called me names

I could feel my eyes deceive me

They begin to well

I loved her smile

I loved her soft touch

I loved her sweet words

At least I think I did

I haven’t heard them for years

I have not heard much aside from how I failed

I have not heard much but my shortcomings

I brought home my money to see it disappear

I made the food to see it get destroyed

She stands over me now

Mocking my tears

Calling me less of a man

I could crush her throat with one hand

But I take it

I take it for what I thought was love

She throws the plate of chicken at me

The plate busts my forehead open

The hot blood fills my sight

Tears mixed with blood

The taste of iron and salt on my lips

I rise to my feet

I walk away from her

My movements are sluggish

She shoves me from behind and I stumble again

A bloody handprint on the wall

I make it to the bedroom

She is right there

Telling me I am scum

Telling me how she should have fucked my friend instead

I pull out a suitcase I haven’t used since our honeymoon

I empty my two drawers

I put my six hangers of pants into the case

She tells me I’m a fuck up

She would be better off

I grab my hat and coat

My hand reaches the doorknob

She falls silent

She grabs my arm

She asks me to stay

I turn my swollen bleeding head

I stare at her hard enough for her to break her hold

I turn the knob and the evening sun burns my eyes

But for some reason

Some strange reason

I am smiling

“Fist Shaped Kisses” by Rio Martin


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