As she walked with her sister still full from dinner that meatloaf her dad always made as she walked ten doors down in her beige sweater made of wool with the sleeve that was pulling planning on only staying for a little while maybe an hour maybe two maybe just enough for her sister to have a laugh and dance with the boy with the freckles that smelled like motor oil from her bio class as she listened to the shouts of students remembering how she was a student once before double shifts and cell phone bills did she think about how the honey kiss of whiskey would sting her dry lips did she think about the way that the pine needles and fragile pine cones broke under her boots on that January night?
As he walked into the sea of bodies moving together like algae slick with the coat of alcohol and the grime of grind as he slid into the saltsweat of boys and women and shrugged off his pit stained hoodie with the mustard stain did he chug the honey whiskey so that it coated his throat like milk did he feel a hunger that pressed against the khakis his mother bought him when he was back home on Christmas break and when he went to find someone or anyone to let him slide rough knuckles down silk panties in public did he think about the chill his permanently dehydrated puckered fingers would cause against her skin did he think about anyone in particular at all when he left the house on that January night?
As he went to kiss her sister did he taste the meatloaf on her lips as he grabbed her sisters arm and tripped on the shag rug that was on the tile before he gave up on her sister and went to look for someone or anyone to touch when he saw her thinking that she was something else with her librarian sleeves rolled up to her dry elbows nursing a honey drink when he saw her later falling did he catch her or did he drag her outside when he placed her on the ground on top of pine needles did he feel her silk panties before he flung them six inches away and shoved his rough knuckles into her inner most parts did he wonder what her bruises would look like as her head slammed against the dumpster and needles nestled into her hair?
When the two men biked by and he ran did he think about how fragile the pine cones were under his boots as he ran away back to the house next door did he wonder why she also happened to smell like meatloaf and if his semen sleeves would wash out and as she lay there with her legs spread apart purple and swollen from the inside out with debris caked into her skin was her mind not just off was it far away from this place unwilling to wake itself up until it was in a gurney and someone else was there to peel the needles out of her hair?
Boys will be boys while they act like boys excavating girls until they go numb while their bodies hum barely breathing and unconscious and these hands that have spent hours slicing into water and twenty minutes slicing into her these hands are what she thinks about when she is lying under her comforter with her night light on and the drawing that she drew of two bicycles that hangs above her head like a prayer this, this is what she sees over the year that it takes her to face him in court and over the three months that he spends in prison before he stretches into the sun and dives back into the normalcy of his life.