all of those moments to share where we harmed ourselves together
hooks in our backs
grins paint our faces
needles pierce skin
a rush and elation
stretch and stretch
I put the bullet in and you held my head as I pushed through the pain
and all the while I knew
that all I had to do
was to take it out
but I wanted it
just like I wanted you.
four posts and one lamp, no yawning
up you were kept.
you taught me what it was to put more holes in me than I was born with
the things the elders couldn’t understand
to mark my flesh with two hundred dollars of ink
even though I was poor.
none of this filled me
and we both always needed more.
adding wounds to commemorate one another,
to manifest what lay beneath.
the damage that could be heard as morse code
through grinding teeth.
in sleep unable to dream
waking to burning screams
a labyrinth askew and down is left
a limbic system so very bereft
of many things you request
and even less of your demands.
you couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t hold hands.
so just stop
and continue teaching me more ways to harm myself without being put away.