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  • Every lover I’ve ever taken

    has scooped out a piece

    of me.

    Some took bones.

    The first made off with

    a rib. Painful but

    unnecessary. Replaceable.

    Later one nibbled away my scapula.

    I didn’t even notice

    until my right arm just hung, limp.

    Others nick things off the surface

    toenails, moles.

    A kiss is worth a lock of hair,

    but if you’re still there the next day

    you’ve probably at least gotten at least

    a ligament.

    The best only steal senses.

    Disappearing with retinas,

    Nerve endings in my tongue

    and breasts and fingertips.

    I filed a police report

    on the theft of my cochlea.

    But they don’t stop there.

    If only.

    In the place of the stolen goods

    they leave something behind

    Similarly weighted

    it almost fits the same.

    But not quite,

    and I am covered in seams.

    My hipbones still smell

    of Ronnie.

    Josh tinges everything my

    right ring finger feels.

    My new collarbone pops,

    thanks to Jonathan.

    Some nights they are demons

    rising unbidden.

    Other nights they keep me warm,

    walk me home.

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