Saturday Night

We hear it, the neighbors screaming at each other,
the shrieks bending the air through the neighborhood,
two drunken enemies meeting on the battlefield again,
so it must be Saturday night and the bar’s officially open.
Screams travels more clearly than shouted words,
the male voice deep, the female’s oddly deeper.
He’s a freelance photographer, she a school teacher.
Between the alcohol and the talking all day,
all week long, perhaps she’s worn her voice that way.
Louder than the screaming, louder than the yelling,
all of a sudden, there’s a huge thud, then absolute silence.
My mother, knife poised in midair, a conductor
about to gesture an orchestra to life, believes one has killed the other.
My dad, glass poised before lips, a bird considering landing,
asserts this would be a great relief.
I, stirring peas and carrots around my plate, an artist
working in reverse to leave a white canvass after
the paint’s removed, wonder what it might be like to kill.
We await more screaming and or more yelling, but the rest is silence.
The next morning my father, watering the yard,
observes the husband emptying trash.
He says hello; the man grunts.
My dad reports hearing the wife tell the husband to walk the dog.
They’re both alive.
The quiet after the big thud signaled something other than death.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s