Once with a boyfriend
I started a game
of rock, paper, scissors, slap
that only lasted two rounds because
when it was his turn to slap me he
really slapped me
And I stood there blinking, skin burning
unsure if this counted when I had
offered him my cheek

You told me the story of how he punched you
In the arm, too hard, coming down
Slapped across the face, play fighting early on
Doesn’t count because he said so
Doesn’t have to count if I don’t want it to

My mother taught me
If he ever hits you
there is no second time because
you leave, that fast
But now I have to wonder
how many seconds he got
til it counted