International Day for the Elimination of #ViolenceagainstWomen
25 November

parallel texts: words reflected

BELOW THE BELT

By MatiColarossi

-I’d like to make a withdrawal, please.

The teller looked at the bank-slip I had filled out and then at me.

The minute I saw the look on her face, I felt my knees go weak.

*

-Hey, Ryan. C’mon. Wake up.

I watched my son pull a cushion over his head, but kept working.

I tore a plastic garbage bag out of the drawer, dumped the leftover cake inside. I wiped down the empty pill bottle, threw it in too, wiped the counter, removed my rubber gloves and walked into the living room.

-I said wake up, sweetie, come on!

I took the cushion off his head, drew him into my arms. His flannel pajamas spilled out from under his overalls. Cuddly bunny ears and bright orange carrots peeping. His ears were sleepy warm against my neck.

-And daddy?

-He’s asleep.

-Can I say…

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