Treading Tomorrow
by Ashley-Elizabeth Best

Matty's got notches on his cheek
that shrug up around his eye and
stop at the knotted flesh on his hairline.

I visit him at the county jail, he has
been here before and tells me a
few things I didn't know, like what
to do when you pull a score or get

I feel bad coming in this silly
suit now that he is a boy of the
common thread. His broken
jaw shook, flicker-click

My hand reached forward, made
grubby grasps at him, this lame flower,
climbed one notch at a time
levelling my prints into the dent
of his old armour.

I strummed those chunks irregular
soaked in the unknowing, the
churches of his tears.

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