Imagine a flush of color rising up the man’s neck as you say the word rape and him saying, in reply, I have no recollection of a such a thing Imagine wanting to break his soft and trembling face, more than anything you’ve ever wanted in your life—not to deny the charge outright but to claim no memory of the thing happening. Imagine taking his hand in yours against his will before you leave, a vice-grip of a handshake, and wishing you felt his finger bones snap like pretzels in your palm.
Outside, snow was falling, a full-on blizzard. My work was done. There was no more justice to be wrung from the affair. He would always know I knew. My brother was dead and he wasn’t coming back. Something inside me gave way and shattered. I fell over in the snow, unable to walk another step. In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to lie there making a snow angel, an absurd impulse, but one I didn’t care to resist. I laughed and cried, my arms and legs flapping in the snow, flakes melting on my cheeks and merging into rivulets with my tears.
Image: Balloons above the Rio Grande in Alberquerque. Photography by mnchilemom, vi Flickr.