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I won’t reconstruct how utterly fucked
that was. Futile to try again. I said,

“Help me cope. Bring itchy rope, a switch, duct
tape and rock salt.”
But I fled when I bled,

when I bent and a queer smear bloomed across
my shirt. The door was almost closed. You peered

through a crack. Hunched on a chair, the chaos
of my scars had come undone. I get smeared

with blood a lot, mostly my own. Just once
I’d bared my back. “Fuck me up. Go roughshod.”

I said. “Calm me down.” That was my mistake.
It changed everything. Pain is a science.

Science is divine. But you said, “my god!”
when you saw how I cut out my own ache.