A kid walks up to me and askes

“What’s that on your arm?”

He notices the marks on me

The self inflicted pain

I tell him

“I fight stray cats”

He nods, then quizzically looks at me

“Why do you fight stray cats?”

“I fight them because I need to defend myself”

I feel a stabbing pain in my heart

A welling up of emotion

It grows and I break

“Sometimes I don’t want to go home because I’m afraid

I’m afraid that they’ll kill me

But I’ll keep fighting

Until the cats are at rest”

The kid looks up at me

His almond eyes lock into mine

His black hair waving in the wind

His tanned skin

I smile at him

He understands me