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
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.