History of violence

by Christopher W. Clark


When you slapped me because I didn’t

know how to bowl properly

you looked sad. When you punched me

because I didn’t kick a ball

like a man you bundled your shirt,

threw it on the grass

with disgust on your face,

the smell of sweat

coaxed the air. You knew

the different ways to break me,

summer sauntered through

like the world was ending

and you were its master.

You marked my body

but the others couldn’t see the blisters

inside. They laughed and ran away, bored

as one by one the lights went out, only

two weeks before school starts again.

They saw the weakness you made, knew

to burn me whilst they kicked

mums and dads watched

while they watched

football games, the men held

back their wives, let them work it out

it’s what boys do, of course.



Christopher W. Clark (@chriswillclark) reads, writes, and teaches things. Their poems have featured in various publications including The Cadaverine and Ink, Sweat, & Tears. They have collaborated with The Royal Philharmonic Society and photographer Mick Frank among others. They are currently working on a chapbook and full-length novel dealing with the intersections of class and queerness.




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