October 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Five
Christopher Citro
I Can't Thank Her Enough

When I think about manís inhumanity to man,
I'm back in fourth grade on my knees.

A girl I had a crush on
kicked me in the face
because I wouldn't give her my seat on the swing.

Just like in a movie, when I touched my lips
and my fingers were bloody,
I actually saw red.
As if some beating heart, startled from a rock cleft,
shot away leaving a cloud.

I remember lunging, running for her.
A circle of adults catching, holding me back.
Just like in a movie, they said, "Are you calm now?"
I said, "Yes, I'm calm now."
Their grips relaxed. I took off after her again.

She escaped into school.
I ended up in the nurse's office, 
a fat lip and a headache from rage leaving me limp.

Later, I shook her hand. A teacher between us
saying, "She's sorry and she wants to know you forgive
Which I did. Why not?
She'd given me a view of myself as an animal.
For that I could never really get her back.