“This is the place it happened. It was here. / You might not know it was unless you knew. / All day the cars blow past and disappear.” – Joshua Mehigan, “The Crossroads”
The first time you hit her you can’t believe it has happened. This angel, this woman who would do anything for you, you would never strike her. It is as though your hand rose of its own volition, flew through the air and struck her face. The eyes tell you the whole story. You see yourself in her eyes, a monster, but no, that wasn’t you. You fall to your knees before her, beg her forgiveness. It will never happen again.
The first time you hit her you tell yourself and her it will never happen again. You will not lose control. You will be calm. You will be what she wants you to be. Never again, you tell yourself.
The first time you hit her your hand learns its way. The feel of her cheek, her warm skin slapping your hand – these compel your fist. The hand balls into a fist by itself, the punch coming to her jaw. Your arm moves on its own. It has learned the way.