Your mouth tastes of iron and old scabs. You curl into yourself, a knot of flesh and weary bone, in your father’s chair.
You are seventeen. A stray kid.
Your mouth is dry with curses.
You flick the remote.
Infomercials blat and blare, all the shit and detritus of late-night TV, and your eyes sting like raw flesh.
“Fuck,” you say, voice cracked with crying.
An old Sailor Moon episode jitters to life. You remember this. Boy, did you love Sailor Moon.
Never running from a real fight—
“Fuck,” you say, and turn it off.