I was alone and bored when I began

to shuffle through photos on her camera.

It was a shock to see her after her boyfriend hit her.

I’d been the first person she’d called

the one on the phone begging

her to leave while he showered.

The one to call her mother.

It must have been her mother

who stood before her

with the camera.

An older woman who knew

these things must be done.

I set it down before

my dearest friend returned to the room

beautiful with a pregnant grace.

When I think of that trip home

I don’t remember

seeing her, as I remember seeing

her belly,

how it held itself in front of her

held the space she’d walk through.

Copyright © 1999 – 2023 Juked