To the Man in the White Honda

I can’t comb the phone book or look online
for your info, our brush so brief and fraught
with drama there was no time for niceties
like names exchanged. I don’t remember
even the color of your hair; I pressed on
my crushed ribs and stared at the cracked
dashboard of your Civic as you drove.

If I could find you, I’d say you surprised me
because no doubt we looked crazy,
my ex-lover and I: on the ground, she kicking
me in the gut again and again while I shielded
my face and tried to get up. People passed
without stopping, maybe amused
by a girl fight, maybe just late for lunch.

I’d say you probably saved me
some stitches or worse by flinging open
your door and yelling, “You need help?”—
distracting her while I stumbled
to your white car. I let you take me
to my house, humiliated and finally finished
battling and embracing a woman broken
by bipolar disorder and heroin.

And I’d say, in case in all these years you worried
even once about my fate or maybe hers—
the ribs healed quickly.

Photo Credit: CJS*64 Flickr via Compfight cc

Jennifer Wheelock

Jennifer Wheelock's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals and anthologies, including Post Road, Lake Effect, Stone River Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems (Negative Capability Press), Flycatcher, Diagram, Quill’s Edge Press, River Styx, Atlanta Review, New Millennium Writings, The Inflectionist Review, and North Atlantic Review. She lives and works in Los Angeles and is also a painter.

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