i decide
to ruin my body
before i give you
the chance

when the fear
seizes my blood
and suffocates my brain
i use the burn of
the cigarette
the whiskey
the razor
the end of sleep
and come back to myself

i reset
and try to control my
own flesh
in unproud punctuated moments
that turn living into
a hazy run on sentence

bodies make sense of words
in a particular way
mine uses
the force of history
to split my chest
and i knit ribbons through
the bony reliefs of my ribs
to anchor
a sensation that is not loss
i cast on to calcium masts
even though my body is wooden
a paralysis placed by
the repetition
of violence

bodies make sense of fear
in a particular way
my body is constantly tidying up the
purls unwound by exposure
my guts stored in an
ambiguous hull
i anticipate the punch
before the hand is raised
if my skin is the sail
and my body the boat
i freeze
while the rupture
i wait for
bludgeons this temporary
tattered blanket
that looks like a flag
shred from war

i am the enemy i cannot leave
whose strike is quick and calculated
doesn’t ask for
doesn’t need
doesn’t entirely know how to process
the freedom of hearing a no
the graciousness of uncertainty
or how to make a body bouyant
before it is drowned


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