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  • Embers and Thorns

    She displeases me, this girl, and I rage at her,

    belittling her and stabbing her soft child arms

    over and over with the point of the blade of my knife.

    I want to punish her, to hurt her, but not too much,

    so I push the knife blade in only a short way

    and no blood rises yet. The slits, hundreds

    of them, pattern her smooth pale flesh.

    My anger, more palpable than flames

    and just as hot, flares out at her. I expect it

    to scorch her; I expect her to cry,

    but she stares at me with eyes open wide

    while tears pool in the well of my heart.

    Though I jab wounds into her body, blood

    oozes from my skin and runs

    red over my blistering burns.

  • This nightmare woke me

    into shame and cold sweat.

    I dream myself a monstrous dragon.

    I am my father, only worse, much worse;

    I am the husbands and lovers who struck me.

    The girl is me when I was a child.

    I am the abused and I am the abuser,

    for I have also been and am that monster.

    A howling fiend of rage lives within me.

    The flames of my dragon-breath drip acid.

    I swallow the girl, swallow her whole,

    and then bend like a yogini, and,

    starting at my toes, begin to swallow

    myself, a snake eating its own tail

    and everything around it.

  • The image is from one of children's books, Benny and the Dragonfly. A painting by me.

    The poem is brand new this morning.

    I miss you all.

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