5/9

Things I would say to my ten-year-old self:

Stand up to that bastard,
learn how to thrown words back in his face.
Learn to use your fists, and do it today so
you'll already know when he does, too.

Seize their eyes with your own like a rope
thrown out to where you struggle to float in the sea.
Don't even think about counting patterns on the walls
or studying the ground beneath your feet.

Grandfather's going to die. Just don't
walk into the room with Mom bent over
his body, gasping for breath, beating his chest,
swearing. You're going to wish you hadn't.

Finally, plan your escape.
This is no place
for a child like you.