C.L. Liedekev

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I Guess It Was Always Going To Be Violent

I was proud of my sister
                          on how she took a punch,
                     forged a check,
how her eye unfolds like a secret.
                            Cheeks collapse
                                       in on themselves as waves
back to the source.
                            She makes sounds that restraining orders mock.

            In her world, everything was a slip and crush,
                      pills fall to the floor, mimic the click click click

                                               of invisible reindeer feet on rooftops.
           My tears can’t stop the boot
kicks that drive each breath
from her – a blown kiss.

When her thigh hits the edge of the table,
                    the same face flower returns, the bubble spreads
                                               under her jeans. When she shows me,
                          she tells me not to tell Dad. I reach out to touch it

but fear I will fall in and meet the same flurry
                                          of blows and bruise. Knuckles wet and slick,
               crooked and smashed in,
                                a car accident breeds a new
                                             excuse in the body.
                                   For the remaining years, I feared
                       I would wake up next
                                                              to the stain of her body.


C.L. Liedekev is a two-time nominee for Best of the Net, with his poem, “November Snow. Philadelphia Children's Hospital," being a finalist in 2021. His work can be found at Humana Obscura, Red Fez, MacQueen's, Hare's Paw, River Heron Review, Marrow, American Writers Review, and Quibble, amongst others.