By Justin Goldsmith
I remember that time when I hated some girl for a few days
because I thought she beat me.
Then I hit someone else, and I wish more than anything that she hit me,
Because then I would have just told her that it was alright.
Even if she just hit someone else, I wish she just hit someone else.
Then she would have known what it was like to hit someone.
If anyone ever hits me I’ll tell them that it’s alright.
I hope someone hits me.
Not too hard though, just enough to shake me.
I’ll ask them if they’re okay and tell them that it’s alright.
Then later they will think about the time when they hit someone
And the person that they hit was a good person.
They’ll sort of love me.
I hate that girl that I hit because of the way she treated me.
Even though it was my fault I sort of hate her.
But I miss her because I constantly think about how I could have stopped it.
I miss everyone I’ve never hit.
I sort of love everyone that I’ve never hit for the way that they treat me.
Everyone thinks I’m a good person for the way that I’ve never hit them.
Donald Hall Poetry Prize Winner