A punch and I dreamed of water
and rose patches. Friends, to whom
I’m merely a target and a laugh,
kicked me back to life.
Their taunts broke me where I dreamed.
It was neither school nor prison.
I leaned fully into each blow
like a sail into a storm.
After the beating I listened around
and grabbed at the sounds,
a fence of mocks and backs,
the girl I fought over gone and bought.