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“Once more, but with gore.” For two weeks after
I kept my shirt on, changed the bandages,

daubed the stains. “Abuse me,” we say. “Yes, sir,”
we say. I’m more than besmirched. My glasses,

knocked all ahoo, cracked. My scabs, when I stretched,
peeled. “Sour me,” is more than a dare. “Ruin

us,” gets used a lot. Love, what is far-fetched
that one day I’ll just burn? What bursts molten

cannot be put right as it flows, as it flames.
What you demand just now leaves me distraught.

You know better. But this ends with my squeals,
shouts, pleading to the gods. The healer claims,

“troubled water, troubled soul.” But it’s not
soul that your nails cut, just flesh and flesh heals.