A Watched Pot Does Boil by Friday Gretchen

Friday Gretchen’s description of physical domestic abuse is clinical in a way, mirroring her detachment from the event. This echoes my own history as a victim of abuse. If you are in a situation like this, you are not alone. This link is a good place to start for identifying the signs of an abusive relationship, and where to seek help.

Photo Courtesy Brian Landis

A Watched Pot Does Boil

by Friday Gretchen

Darkness eclipses his soft brown eyes
while a deep furrow fractures his brow
Here I stand motionless as prey detecting danger

I wonder if the rage starts at his toes,
how water begins to boil at the base of a pot
Rising into him like wisps from hot asphalt
Up through his mid-section, spreading
to heavy fingers becoming fists, face reddening,
in the night golden light of our kitchen

Closing in, his brick hands swollen
like ticks forewarn me
Eyes growling, his mouth articulates fury
but I hear only an electrical buzz
over spastic thumps of my own heart

Swiftly, my head spins down to tile,
my limp body follows, and rests there

Later, he returns with tear-soaked cheeks,
wanting only to be held and forgiven —
He kneels beside my crumpled form and sweeps
a stray lock of hair behind my bloodied ear.

Toast was a weekly email newsletter that ran from July 2018 to March 2019. All of the pieces from Toast’s run and more can be read in Solo Novo 5/6.

  • Glenna Luschei, Abiding Publisher and Editor Emeritus
  • Benjamin Daniel Lawless, Editor in Chief
  • Tom Harrington, Contributing Editor
  • Rena Ferro, Managing Editor
  • Brian Landis, Photographer and Advisor