This Is One Mile #234


after Eduardo C. Corral


“This is one mile,”

she said to two-year-old


me, as I sat in the backseat

wearing nothing but my heart

and a seatbelt. I couldn’t tell


how long it was. I couldn’t tell

time. I could only tell that she


was taking me


to NH to buy her cigarettes and I’d be given

some candy if I was good enough.


This is one mile,

I thought.


But I hadn’t yet thought

about how I would tell her that

****** peed on me, on my stomach


to be exact, but it was white pee,


so it was so different to me. I forgot

how it tasted, if I tasted it, even.


It was all a bad dream.


This is one mile

long and I am one mile

too short. I can’t


stand up to the bad guys and they ruin

my life forever and ever. I run away

from him next time,


I reasoned with myself.


But I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. This is one mile

and I am too short to run a mile,

too innocent,

too broken, too chained, too un-free.

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