Here’s Your Hat

I take his coat and hat, an inconsequential courtesy—he will stay no matter what I do.

He’s found a home nestled between the bone and muscle; he likes it there.

He kicks off his shoes beside the door with unwelcome familiarity.

I crave violence to break the routine—to make what is known within seen without, to have it translated into bruises, blood and claw marks.

But the blood does not run, the bruises do not purple and my skin harvests no marks.

What is left then? To bite, break, throw, scream, smash, to let the pain uncoil from my throat like barbed wire?

I choose silence and straighten the shoes in anticipation of his leaving.