Until We Can Look

by Kaitlin Schmidt

dig your nails into my palms,
please, fold with me into
the corner of our room
behind our bunk bed
that is shaking apart.
We shake apart too,
with every fuck you
from downstairs, so
maybe we should run
away, admit we are afraid,
but the stinging half-moons
in our skin keep us safe. If we
lock hands but look just to the
side of each other, we can stay
and not have to remember

our cheeks blotched with red
or lips curled above bared
teeth, or whimpers or
the spiderweb sound
of splintering glass.
If we look just to
the side, we can

be like other children,
go to school tomorrow,
complain about homework
and draw the sun with crayons,
leave the squealing and shakes
and sour sweat in this corner.
For just a little longer, grip
my hands until it’s over,
until we’re old enough,
until we can forgive
each other for
looking away.

Kaitlin Schmidt is a freelance editor and writer. She is a huge fantasy nerd and wants to be solving mysteries pretty much 100 percent of the time. She is also a big fan of string lights. Kaitlin lives with her partner Shauna and Shauna’s five thousand plants in Mount Vernon, Washington.

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