Pursuit

At six she knocked a boy’s head

into a pole when he put clovers

down her shirt. She knew how to protect

 

herself back then. She would not protect

herself again.

 

The walk was kitchen-ridiculous, whiskey

and schnapps, both peppermint and peach, that stink

inside her when he crammed his way in. Faster

 

than it takes childhood to escape, she saw

herself above her body and its braces,

her body and its futile shape. What is

 

not is just as important as what is.

What could she tell herself but run? She ran

for years. She ran for years.

 

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