10, by Tyler Odeneal

10) She is fifteen, and pregnant
9) She stabs a woman ten times – a butcher’s knife – self defense
8) No one knows of the rape – thirteen
7) His heart stops beating inside of her; it’s been 36 weeks
6) He lives – a star student, a light for her, the one
5) Only nine and he writes well, others say, but he writes because it feels right
4) No one knows of hands tussling between his thighs – momma – thirteen
3) Suicide sits silently – two a.m., in the cabinet, on the bed, on the shelf, in the mirror
2) It’s a bit darker than they thought – darkness covers them, hides them – two faces, four eyes
1) The light – the one, true light – breaks through the darkness as it always seems to do
0) They implode, the two of them – they become their full selves – they become all they were meant to be

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