Through the window, I couldn’t tell if she was beautiful:
a girl three stories below on the corner of our street,
maybe 19, her voice tearing off the sidewalks, cell phone
glued to her ear. I strained to listen from the balcony,
heard the phrases, “fuck you,” “I have no more pills,”
all between her screaming and crying. Almost 2:30, the bars
were closed, most families were asleep, and Jess had gone
to bed hours ago. As I opened the fridge, grabbed a can
of Miller Lite for the girl, I was drunk enough not to care
what happened, wanted to see if she was beautiful,
if she needed money for a cab. And I would be valiant,
avoid a kiss if she reached out in desperation or revenge.
But her voice woke someone, maybe a family, and left
two cop cars and an ambulance surrounding her. I watched
the soundless lights turn her hair from red to blond to blue,
cold aluminum numbing my palm. No cars passed.
She answered questions I couldn’t understand, four cops
swarming her. Then her pleas: she would go to a friend’s,
not cause a disturbance. Soon, the stretcher before her,
it took three of them to get her onto it, tie the restraints.
Still her crying, howling, before a punch to her chest.
I dropped the can. Another punch to her chest. One of them
cupped his hand over her mouth as they rolled her
into the ambulance. I watched as it drove off, each cop
slowly entering his vehicle, the lights fading to black.