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Spankings seem cruel. But when you bend to bare
yourself to me with your ink—one word stamped

in black, “RUIN,” above your derriere—
when you drape yourself on my knee, thighs clamped

tight with tension; then, yes, this will be cruel.
So rough. So sudden. That first splitting stroke.

You know that I find whining sobs shameful;
only kids caterwaul. Drench the floor, soak

your thighs, if you must, but keep count of each
welted slash left upon your upturned ass.

Correction’s hothouse. Discipline’s garden.
Pain blooms as divine comeuppance; this bleach-

in-the-eyes pain, add a-touch-of-teargas
that’s why you’re here, you and your prayer: RUIN.