Bruised Knuckles by Steve Klepetar

There was always somebody calling down to us
from a window high above
saying “get the hell away from here with that ball”
saying “you break my window, I’ll break your neck”
there was always somebody calling down
sometimes they knew our names, sometimes
we’d hear their feet tumbling down the staircase
in the hallway and we ran, laughing or scared shitless
there was always somebody who hated us for being
boys, for being in the way, for singing
“Hello Marylou, goodbye heart”
for walking to school in packs, for finding muddy dimes
on the sidewalk, for chasing each other, for chasing the girls
for running between cars, for chasing and chasing
always somebody calling down, ready to grab, smack,
make us pay, drag us to our mothers who would shout
at them, then slap us silly, always somebody to dodge,
somebody big whose bruised knuckles we couldn’t avoid.

 

© 2014 Steve Klepetar

Image “Stenciled Images of Boy Running Painted on Asphalt, Boston Avenue” by Nishan Bichajian © Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Steve Klepetar was born in Shanghai, China. His work has been published in Red River Review (which nominated him for the Pushcart Prize in 2013) , Black Heart Magazine (which nominated him for Best of the Net in 2013) and Glass, among many others.