As a child I couldn’t help myself, and I bit my father on the leg. I don’t know why. Even then, I couldn’t explain it. I was old for it. At 6, I drew blood, and my father immediately gave me one, two, three blows on the thigh. We were in front of a window with no drapes, just one sheer layer of hard, acrylic lace. Heat thickened in the throat. It was summer in Mississippi. We were living with my grandmother, and this was my grandmother’s house, where my sister and I slept in the unfinished upstairs. Someone else was in the room, although I’m not sure who; I only remember being watched.