maybe I was asking for it

for the palmprint
that spills over the left side of my face
like a stain.
it is to be addressed as an accident,
a slip-up,
a this-will-never-happen-again situation—
he forgets that this is again.
with bleach and toxins I scrub
and I scrub until blood—
but his fingers do not fade
and I’m scared they won’t ever.
his hand, it is so big and calloused
that she had to know how much it hurt
the moment of impact was so loud
that we both know she heard.
maybe I was asking for it
for the proof
for what I thought was the final unforgivable example of why she needs to leave him
only now I wake up twenty minutes
earlier than before
each morning to carefully hide his rage
with my mother’s liquid foundation
mom does not say a word when it runs out—
she simply buys more.

Kaylee Zou is a senior at Poolesville High School and will be attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall of 2016. Her favorite shows are Bob’s Burgers and Friends. Kaylee wants to give a shout-out to her brother Kai, whom she loves so very much.

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