Young cheek kissed by a fist,
a lick of red like lipstick.
Pain burns white hot in a place
where impotent anger is bound;
sorrow makes no sound
in power’s cold embrace.
Soft sobs muffled into
a sweat-and-tear wet pillow,
crimson and umber smeared on
a pallet of old yellowed sheets.
Crippled hope retreats,
a shadow fleeing the dawn.
Life’s concrete lessons force-fed
hard enough to break the teeth.
Childhood’s a fragile thing,
first mounting the sky on a breeze,
shot down with such ease:
shattered soul and pinioned wing.