without punctuation

you don’ unnerstan’
she speaks without punctuation
or rather punctuation I do not recognize

the house slanted and gray
police standing around helplessly
they wont push the violence just below the surface

a grandmother angry trying to save a grandchild
men at the edges sitting in their tshirts looking at the floor
sweating in the heat under the gaze of the police
lost in the noise protected by unimportance
grandmother muttering under her breath the important words
my grandaughter don talk to me that way
my grandaughter she a slut bitch whore sex with that chile
in her bed with that animal in her bed nekkid take her away take her away

i slink past silent police do they wonder who i am
i hope they wonder who i am because
i do not want to belong
our family crises are neat & orderly & caring & we do not scream insults

we take the sister & child stumbling over broken concrete too fast for seatbelts
and 2 day later they are gone
but this doesn’t bother her like it does me
she IS a slut a whore she says her own sister and she laughs at me
i read and worry and don’t know what’s important

when I find a key broken in my lock she says
what you havin’ a problem with a boyfren’? he just tryin’ to get in
and her friend the crack dealer pulls the broken key out with some pliers
i thank him they are polite to me

but in the night she is screaming and throwing plates and glasses and furniture
at a man who smacks her
i hear it the smack on her head I can hear it the blood come her screaming
i call the police
but i know what will happen when they come
they’re helpless trying not to graze the surface the violence so close

i move at the end of the month


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