Talking Cure

I told you that I had a tattoo scratched down my arm
black flames scorch the outer angle
Each set of eyes that passed would grimace and confirm
     “yes, you must have this removed”
The idea of being clean again 

The child’s face fell upwards into mine
cheeks gushing clear glass
plastered permanently wet
    “I had a nightmare about you”
we can’t find an adult to help us
and frustrated tears stretch to waking
accompanying a spinning, grasping freeze

Use your grounding technique:
I am steam pouring over the edge of the bath tub
I am boiling to the surface a floating dumpling
ready to be lifted out and buttered
nothing, everywhere

I am the gap in your arching, soft neck
your warm, pooling skin
My hands are here
my fingers dig through your skin, past your sinews and bones
and I reach through to my thighs
My thighs are here
            not here

and then my brain is an anvil that crushes my blood
and I shrivel, retreat   run
I swaddle myself in folding blankets
a fetus born on a faux-velvet red recliner

How can this image sit next to a sunset, incompatible?
How can I feel that your hands are love again?

I don’t say this to bother you, to ask you for an answer
I don’t say this to show you
I say this because I have to say
and say
despite the boiling vomit rising
and the aching faux-velvet red creeping to fill my edges
and the nightmares
and the

I write this because I told myself this
was the only thing I cannot write. 



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