Domestic violence arrest, white male, camper in Cedar Ridge II

Boots soft on wet grass and gravel two cop
bodies bungling across property lines.
What dogs and children run rampant in the murk?

What happened in that camper tonight?
Sir, did you hurt your wife? No, but she don’t want
me no more, so take me to jail. I don’t care!

Tell me what happened. We were yelling all night.
I took the kids to the crick. When I woke up—

She wasn’t showing me no love—Been married
eleven years—But she don’t want me no more—

What happened to your face? Did she hurt you?
She didn’t do nothing, he says over

the lingering clang of the trash cans
he’d kicked as he’d fallen, and the crickets,
to my face. When had he gotten up, and when

had he finished circling the yard, picking
up the pieces of himself exploded
out of those two gray moons crashing in the night?

You Li is a lawyer and poet who was born in Beijing and lives in New York. Her poems appear in Lunch Ticket, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s the Margins, The BOILER, Poetry South, and elsewhere. She has received support from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.