Hold the cold cloth over your bruised
eye, the shiny purple skin. Your eyelashes
are clinging to the dewdrop tears.
Dab the crusted blood from your nose
and take off those Goodwill jeans and
the Christmas sweater that is casting
green yarn like fishing line from the hem.
Hold out – I hear you wince – hold out
your hand and let me see the skin that
one day you will show off to your friends
as a battle scar. Let me run my fingers
through your matted hair and kiss the
bandaged bump on your forehead. Then
open up the blinds and welcome the world
back in again. Water down the sunset until
soft sheets and a mother’s prayers shrink
your wounds and I can cup them in my
hands again.

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