Penance

tools

On the first night of spring I made a slaughterhouse of my body,
assembled my flesh into parcels wrapped in pretty orange ribbon
sealed with a red wax initial, to be delivered as offerings

Save your sharp words
dagger of silence

There are swords in this house for bisecting,
paring knives to split skin open,
hooks inside my chest hanging at attention with hungry
tips waiting to be fed

I am my own butcher
slicing a pound of flesh
for every inadvertent sin

I’ve peeled my brown skin raw
primed my nerve endings, so that whenever the cool air
of the first night touches bare flesh I will be reminded
of my penance

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