Unfinished Business

by Patience Agbabi

Conveniently, cowardice and forgiveness look identical at a certain
distance. Time steals your nerve. – Jonathan Nolan, Memento

That night, it rained so hard
it was biblical. The Thames sunk the promenade,
spewing up so much low life.
It’s a week since they beat up my wife,
put five holes in my daughter. I know who they are.
I know why. I’m three shots away from the parked car
in a blacked-out car park. My wife cries,
Revenge too sweet attracts flies.
Even blushed with bruises she looks good. She’s lying
on the bed, next to me. Honey, I’m fine.
Tonight I caught her, hands clasped, kneeling,
still from a crime scene.
I didn’t bring my wife to Gravesend for this.
What stops me, cowardice?
None of them, even Joe, has the right to live.
How can I forgive?

How can I forgive
none of them? Even Joe has the right to live.
What stops me, cowardice?
I didn’t bring my wife to Gravesend for this
still from a crime scene.
Tonight I caught her, hands clasped, kneeling
on the bed next to me. Honey, I’m fine.
Even blushed with bruises she looks good. She’s lying.
Revenge too sweet attracts flies
in a blacked-out car park. My wife cries.
I know why. I’m three shots away from the parked car
put five holes in my daughter. I know who they are.
It’s a week since they beat up my wife,
spewing up so much low life
it was biblical. The Thames sunk the promenade
that night, it rained so hard.