Stations


"That's not what love feels like,"
the radio psychiologist said
to the battered woman

who insisted her husband loved her.
And I, voyeur in stalled traffic,
unable to stop

listening, stop anything,
heard the woman begin to weep,
a clean knife

of truth in her now.
It had begun to rain
as it often does in movies

when the hero discovers
his private heart
can't accommodate one more thing,

but my heart was enormous
in its greed, and the heavy rain
had nothing to do with me.

Though when she said,
"He's good to me, mostly,"
even I'd had enough,

so easy to imagine the rest,
how he'd confuse her with tenderness,
stick an apology in her face.

I switched stations
and in the suddenly synchronous morning
Tina Turner was singing

how Proud Mary "popped a lot of pain
down in New Orleans,"
bad husband Ike's deep

authenticating voice
in the background.
I was on the Parkway now, my wipers

metronomic, annoyingly good.
"What's Love Got to Do with It,"
was the next song

and Turner was so confident,
so raspily bold,
she left the question mark off.


- Stephen Dunn