by Lisa Zaran
and like your father you beat your wife
until she ran away, leaving you her bruises
and broken bones in food storage containers
in the freezer along with a note on the door which read:
here is your dinner for the week, after that you’re on your own.
monday: one black eye and two chipped teeth
tuesday: a fat lip, swollen left cheek and lump on the back of the head for dessert
wednesday: two cracked ribs and a bruise a mile wide
thursday: another black eye, broken nose
friday: a piece of bitten off tongue, more teeth, a few handfuls of torn out hair
saturday: sunglasses (i won’t need them anymore), one inch scar from chin
sunday: this is supposed to be a day of rest. guess you’ll have to starve.
Author’s Comment: This is one of those poems that come to you unexpectedly. I’d stolen the day off work because I woke up in such a mood to write. Most of the poems I began that day were somewhat systematic in that they were beginning from my mood or a previous idea I’d had. I’ve known women who were abused in their relationships. They always came across as so meek and mild and I remember I used to wonder: why doesn’t she just leave? I know it isn’t that easy, especially looking in from the outside. Somewhat unrelated but definitely a correlation, a dear friend of my son’s recently entered rehab, successfully completed the program and moved to another city to protect herself from the people she used to “use” with, namely her boyfriend. I heard from her via the telephone and she sounded so great and alive, actually very happy. In a way, she was on my mind when this poem came to me.
Bio: Lisa Zaran was born in 1969 in Los Angeles, California. She is an American poet, essayist and the author of six collections including The Blondes Lay Content and the sometimes girl. Lisa is founder and editor of Contemporary American Voices, an online collection of poetry by American poets. She is also the author of Dear Bob Dylan, a collection of letters to her muse. She lives and writes in Arizona.