Volume 33, Number 1

We Love You

With words from Donald Trump’s video address of January 6, 2021

An old friend tells me the world has become a battleground between
good and evil and I am on the wrong side. I want to tell her that I am unarmed.
She’s safe now, and happy in her life. But I remember when
her boyfriend dragged her from the open door of a car
until the entire back of her body was shredded open.
The asphalt where it happened became an abstract painting of black and red.
I love him, she said over and over, I love him I love him, and kept on until
one night at a party he hit her he hit everyone he could reach
with his fists. I narrowly escaped those fists and he said to me,
minutes later, looking straight into my eyes,
I would never ever hit her, I love her, I would never do that, I love her.
I didn’t do that, he said again, weeks later, though I saw it with my own eyes,
felt the wind of his hand as it blew past my cheek and when I said, no, you did,
he trapped me in a corner, kissed me, saying, I want you, you’re beautiful,
you’re the one I’ve always wanted, because my friend had left him
for another boy, because he wanted to stop my mouth.
My friend married that new boy and he hit her, too.
After each time we just said, over and over, all of us to each other—
I know your pain. I know you’re hurt.
Go home. We love you. You’re very special.

—Adrienne Pilon