the state of things

bleeding heart

disgusted and displaced
grubby fingernails scraping
cheeks far too often turned away
until they are blotched and swollen,
hair unhung, awry, indifferent
to the shape of a mouth
or the taste of blood;
and eyes–most definitely
–closed
until with a stricken bang and
burst of floodlight
their blue-green-brown wariness is
startlingly revealed for
a world which has already
turned its back
to see.

she woke up without bruises

godless and unchagrined,
he exhales in satisfaction
of the smooth metal’s
bevel as it perforates
an imperfect knotted
border between
ecstasy and dismay;
this is penetration in its most
visceral sense, the delicate hairs
covering her forearms
chilled and on edge;
it’s almost sensual, slipping
like poison into veins
opened for the embrace
of a cure, the sterile admixture
of stainless steel melted
by the heat of her blood.

as many such instances
it’s over almost before it’s begun,
leaving an ache of anticlimax and only
a few precious drops on the
rough cotton sheets,
soon swept away by a need
for decency
and an orderly’s ungentle hand.