In the end, what we were given
was not only violence. Take,
for example, my collection of dried
peonies, the thumbed buttons sewn
back to my blouse, the top-drawer
filled with rings. I sometimes idle
in the remote memory of their adam’s
apples, their waggling tongues. After all,
there is still what came before—that
pleasure; there are still the places
that dress, that hair, that toothy
smile took me. This before all
the doorknobs began to loosen
themselves inexplicably—before they
fell off into my hands.

Rachel Marie Patterson