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It won’t come back. Dead flesh. Phantom limb’s poor

nightmare. Poor like bruised fruit before being


relieved of skin; or besmirched sheets before

the stain. Some blotted blotches keep living


after the surgeon’s saw. I feel your hands

even now roaming, waking parts of me


like a miracle. Who said gutted wastelands

can’t itch? can’t feel pain? Such crude ecstasy


shouldn’t matter but it does. All I can’t

have. All that’s denied. We rot and we rave


that we’re still gods, still deathless. I’m gutted;

deboned down to the bone, to the bone’s rant


that it’s still there. Or you, love. You don’t crave

me these days. I swell with longing, putrid.