I Want to Give Him a Chance by Sara Biel

Sara Biel has earned an Honorable Mention in Streetlight’s 2021 Poetry Contest

Photo of woman, facing camera, taking a picture
Photo by Lisanto on Unsplash
I Want to Give Him a Chance

Her voice is thin, scrapes and rolls, a dry leaf across the sidewalk.
My fingers grip the phone, heart a bird in my throat.
“He loves me,” she says “I want to give him a chance.”
Her thoughts a murmuration, fear and hope lost together.

My fingers grip the phone, heart a bird in my throat.
The sun ducks behind the cover of the sinking city.
“He said he loves me” her voice a startled hover against gravity.
Rain creeps down the window, a few drops vein the dust.

From the cover of the city the sun sinks her teeth into the core of the day.
“Just in case,” she says, “I have pictures. I could put him away—but I won’t.”
The bruise creeps around her throat, a few drops of blood settle under her skin.
Today the moon is a paler version herself, she floats like a scar on the horizon.

“Just in case” I say “you could have a plan, a place to go”—but she won’t.
Our silences sit on the wire, fingers fisted, small offerings are all we can give.
Today she floats, a paler version of herself, guilt scarlet on her horizon.
Regret feels familiar as it slides along curve her shoulders.

Our silences sit on the wire, fingers fisted, small offerings are all we can give.
Wide-eyed, breathless a fledgeling hops awkwardly onto the crowded concrete.
“I want to give him a chance” she says “I could put him away—but I won’t.”
Our words weave into the hush of the rain, the sound of cars and someone yelling.

On the crowded concrete the fledgeling is knocked into the swollen gutter.
“He loves me,” her breath stiff, words pulled from bitten lips like a wishbone.
In the rain someone is still yelling, with the hush of the cars we lose our words.
“I think I’ll give him a chance”, somewhere a heart grips a bird, twists its throat.

“He loves me”, she says, breath stiff, a wish bitten from a shard of bone.
Her voice is thin, scrapes and rolls, a dry leaf across sidewalk.
“He loves me. I want to give him a chance.”


Sara Biel
Sara Biel uses she/her pronouns. She is a poet, visual artist and social worker living in Oakland, Calif. Sara is co-editor of the Colossus anthology series. Colossus‘s next anthology, Colossus:Freedom, explores the impact of incarceration on individuals and families. She has had poems published in sparkle and blink; as well as in anthologies Our Spirits Cary our Voices and Words Upon the Waters. She is interested in creative process as a medium for change, healing and building community.

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