from the other side of the fire he says,
can i ask you a really personal question?
i nod like shaking a can of soup.
he asks about my mother’s dead babies, why
she kept giving birth to bits of bone and ear
and whether my insides could glue together
he defends himself against my unspeaking:
maybe I shouldn’t care about this but
maybe I just want to know what I am
getting myself into.
I want to reach up, pull out a handful
of uterus: is this what you are getting
next time I suck on his fingers I think
of my mother heavy with child full of holes.
next time I am bleeding, I imagine the
beginning of bodies in every clot
suspended in toilet water.
he says: I didn’t mean to upset you.
I kiss him like a watermelon hitting pavement:
wet red flesh on concrete.