with gangly legs like a doe you bounded
down hearing Mommy’s voice calling to you from the driveway
sticky juice fingers outreached
running down each step
and in the next flash you met the pavement
jagging indents down your knee
you cry when you notice the hot tamale-colored blood
seeping pinpoints of red.
you’ve never seen anything so red.
it heals over in light white lines over your tanned knee.
with bunched up leggings and matted hair you
circle the playground in an endless cycle.
you’re the school pariah avoiding any
and every eye you see.
kids can be so scary and they make sure you know it
you wait for recess to end and in the meantime, you squish an
ant under your finger.
it’s fire red like blood.
even if you know it’s just some dumb bug you feel guilty anyways as you wipe
your dirty hands on your shirt.
with empty eyes and a weight in your gut
you spit up globs of filth and blood into the sink
and you press your fingers against your body to
try and hold your organs in from coming up
as you wash out your mouth
you hardly notice the water turning red.
the doors locked, and you check it twice to make sure
you find yourself asking the wall to hold you up as you wipe your lips
and smear the remains on your knee-
As if your mother could kiss that away too.
#CaitlinSullivan #poetry #20172018