A mass of thick dishwater curls pulled aside—dry except where darkened behind an ear, down her back.

Shower mist glistens along a shoulder, the angle of her neck—a second skin.

Invisible lips press against the spine, a slow finger tracing a familiar line—A bout de soufflé.

Tongue sealed up soft in her mouth like clay beneath a highway where she waits in memories amid seasons of traffic and lulls praying to taste the wet sting as vertebral notches open her like jagged teeth of a spinning saw.

(Standing in line for a movie once, there was a girl dressed in backless black with bandaged stitches all down her back. I came within an inch of touching her wound before realizing what I wanted to do, that I shouldn’t.)

The words to truth are terrifying. I am trying to say: do whatever it takes to open me.

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