TRIGGER WARNING: ALLUSIONS TO BULLYING / CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
A girl at my high school asks for my
lunch money & takes it when I say no. I don’t know her
name. She thrusts hands into my sweater pockets,
I’m scorched by her lank hair,
feral breath. They say her
dad is gone. Not lost but left. She
takes the money, pushes me aside, playground
inhales me. Bone opens
like a shell opens, splintered & soft. I wear
a cast for weeks. Everything has a way of opening,
an onion, a shell, a story,
waves with craving mouths, wounds.
She drops out of school.
That was years ago. Now when my arm aches
I think of her,
how hard the asphalt slam felt, sky aslant,
her sideways look of triumph, teeth clenched. She
her dad went, gone nowhere, as if there were
a road there at all. I felt the hatred she bled
for her dad, I swallowed
all the words
Lynn Finger’s poetry has appeared in Ekphrastic Review, 8Poems, Perhappened, Twin Pies, Book of Matches, Drunk Monkeys and is forthcoming in Wrongdoing Magazine. Lynn is an editor at Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Follow Lynn on Twitter @sweetfirefly2.