Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Genelle Chaconas 


The broad stripe across your thighs is met with another. Then another. It is not the house you live in. Nor any shape you can imagine. Wide as the underside of a belt. Where he massaged his wrist and shifted hands. Deeper when he used the buckle. The rough steel spheres and diamond studs oozed in. Where he ran the easy side of a blade. To see you jump. To see you clench. Laughed his strong, tarnished laugh. Teased the blade closer to the ring. Asked are you scared of me. You could do nothing. Even when he carved his initials. He asked should I advertise here. Sometimes you have seen the pale billboard of yourself in the green rust mirrors, turned the terrain to read it. Run your hands over. Push your fingers down on the soft sore spots. Some ancient as the deserts caves canyons rivers and seas of earth. Some are fresh. Peel. Tug. Your stitches open. It’s only floss and fishing line. On purpose. The itch means it’s healing. The skin of the scabs a prison sentence in Plague City since pardoned. You are continents of longing. Stretch. The stripes around your wrists swollen with twinge. You can reach the excess of the horizon. Grasp expansive space. Spreader bars to heaven. Breathe deserts into your bones. Your feather soft flesh. Reddened from the steel. You had nowhere to rest your weight. Put your hands on the wall. Together in prayer. Sometimes you imagine a private religion. Your body its only tenet. Your knees purpled. Bruised, splintered or broken with glass. Skin rough pain nations. Stretch. Touch your toes. Lift. Distend. Unbuckle the joints. Each inch a fresh gasp. The fresh metal thrust through your nipples, tongue, lips, and ears. Shrapnel bone and wire. The scar a bullet left just above your heart. And then man who deemed you deserved it. Sick and crooked as an orbit. The obscure shapes seethed into you. Which was ink which was blood. In the rusty mirror in the last pay stall in the world. Through the bulletholes in the roof come. The concentric patterns of light. You cannot tell where one ends and the ends and the next one begins. As in sleep. Where one border of thought leaks through another. As though a seeping wound. Raw iodine smearing your lips. The taste of your blood old on your tongue. The battlements of your broken gums. Imagine the tongue as a garden of disease. The groves of elegant syphilis, the overgrown gardens pulsing through the flesh. That melds with ease against the freckles that cross your cheeks. Each mark the sign of an unknown virtue. And in the infinitude you have inflicted on yourself. No longer individual. But a fine mesh that coats the flesh. The cigarette burn constellations. If you peel back all the layers from every surface within. Through each illusory graft weft and pull. Would there be nothing but clear, clean air. Would there be the sun.


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