Sprawled on rumpled sheets in the semi-darkness, he gently placed my hand on the back of his calf. This is where it went in, he said, stroking my fingertips against the bumpy scar. He guided me around to another rough spot near his shin. And this is where it came out. Tattooed and cocky, he was fresh out of Pontiac, eighteen months for armed robbery. He didn’t blame the war. PTSD was still unnamed. My friends thought I was crazy. I saw a shattered, sweet man, desperate for love. I meant to save him. I had to save myself instead.

Roxanne Barber is happily unemployed after a lifetime of making a living while trying to do good. Soon to relocate from Berkeley back to Santa Fe with my wits and health intact. Time to write.

Photo credit: Kate Farnady

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