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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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