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Actions Speak Louder than Words This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

A. K., Cathedral City, CA By A.M.King, Chula Vista, CA

Your words were like brass knuckles that hit
with the force of a bulldozer. You
didn't leave

bruises on my mind, you left welts. If you put
my head through a CAT scan you'd see marks

on my brain that resemble the ones your dad
left on your calves the time he took you
out back

and beat you with the hose after he caught us
smoking in the basement. I remember thinking

the smoke never entered my lungs; instead, it
wrapped around and tied them with a bow as if I

didn't have enough trouble breathing with his
hands grasping my throat. You told your

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