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Often I wake up sore and bent. Not riled,
but spent. As if I’ve brawled, bullied in dreams

I can’t recall; the rest of this defiled
life spent in memory. No wonder, “screams,”

and, “dreams,” rhyme so easily. No wonder
I can’t recall. I’ve been on either side

of that word: Bully. Dull One. The Blunder.
Special Ed. I thought … I hoped if I fried

my brain enough I would forget; yet hell
is on either side of that, too. What screams

more than, “sorry, dull child, I couldn’t save
I broke you, child; and since to rebel

is to forget that you’re broken, all my dreams
show me, each time, that I’ve never been brave.