IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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BEATING UP BILLY MURPHY IN FIFTH GRADE

Kathleen Aguero

Who knows how it started? We were the same age, but he was smaller with wrists you could snap like green beans, veins that showed blue runners through his skin. His scalp was something dead beneath his crewcut and I hated his pipsqueak voice, his hanging around with us girls. Then somehow he was face down on the pavement, my fist banging his back. When my girlfriends pulled me off, he whined like a toy engine: I had hurt his sunburn, I would pay if he went to the doctor. He was an orphan I thought I should be nice to. His aunt was sending him to military school. I was ashamed but still sickened remembering his soft hands, his thin eyelashes, the schoolgirl in him.

 
 
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