Blood and Bones

Patricia Burda


Blood oozing down my hand.
Bones cracking and breaking.


I had never hit anyone in my entire life.


There are never warnings in life. No funny English accent telling you when a curve is approaching. No strategy guide, and no cheat codes.


The beer tasted good, but there was a sour taste in my mouth. Kind of like if you soaked carpet in tomato sauce for a week then dusted in with dirt. 


He was the kind of guy that would shit his pants then ask if you farted. He would complain,  “She had issues, I mean it’s been four years you think she would get over it.” I mean he was adopted so he never even knew his real mom. He could stab you in the back with a smile on his face.


I was having a bad day. The kind where nothing goes right. You can fill a barrel drip by drip.  There are a billion bubbles in a bottle of campaign.  I had to tip the scales, and set the universe right. Or at least let myself believe it was right. Righteous?


Blood boiling under my skin.
Bones aching and shaking


When I was in high school, I used to hide under my staircase. I felt like I belonged when I was with all the holiday decorations and other useless junk nobody wanted to see. I found peace in isolation, and in that hole in the wall that no one cared about I found an outlet for my frustration covered in dust, a “Heavy Bag.” I used to set up the big black boxer bag up against a wall in my basement.  I wasn’t able to bolt and hang it from the ceiling. It was a two-man job.


A chubby kid with too much acne couldn’t do it by himself.


I would wear winter gloves. There were purple with white stripes.  My hands would get sweaty inside them, and the salt would sting the cuts on my bloody and bruised knuckles.


Blood cells erupting like grenades.
Bones trembling and terrified


I wonder what he saw in my eyes. I always tried to avoid eye contact with him.  He looked at you as if he owned you.  He would smile because he knew he could get you to believe whatever he said. I wonder if he felt the fire in my eyes.


 When my fist exploded into in his chin there was peace in the world. For those brief couple of second there was peace in the universe and all was right. Righteous?


I hit him, and he it the ground. Maybe it was the shooting pain in my hand that brought me back to reality, or the hands on my shoulders. I just remember he looked like a baby. His small mouth and closed eyes made him look so innocent. His beer pouring off the bar baptizing him as he entered the world without sin.

I wish I were wearing my purple gloves. I wish I were a chubby kid howling in a cold basement. I wish I were in a hole in the wall with all the other things that nobody wanted to look at.


Blood and Bones.
That’s all we are.

Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240