It was born blood red

in the shape of a placenta that never took form,  

but carefully cultivated, it was, for the exclusive purpose of becoming a vessel.  

Pearl shaped and white, an incubator.

It was warm, it was soddened. 

You wanted a thing with no value?

We’ll give it to you in tenfold. We’ll give it to you for free. 

It was ripened and ready to be of use; it sold itself- a poultice.

Sloppy jawed, tightlipped around them like a communion tablet.

Knees revered in sin, tongues singing off loose lips. 

Three lashes like that hound hacking off near the Styx.

Its liberation came in the form of a serpentine tail.

A mane of snakes lapping up its neck, singeing blue flames in veins. 

Its heart was a parasite, embedded in the cusp of his lies.

Choked green like molded irises that couldn’t tell

the difference of its love from his manipulation- but the thing could grasp jealousy.

That stupid pupil was dimwitted with envy, jaundiced eyed and sticking to a devil

that spewed faux devotion, but vigilant it was.  For seven years.

I don’t count the eights; I have forgotten about the rest. 

Rich and claret were the shape of my scars, plush and sticky with seeds  

that held no meaning unless it was spilled at the moment of his climax. 

My body ate it up, producing flowers that imprisoned me to matted soil, 

sweat slicked skin to nursing beds, and a gut-wrenching twist.  

Trickling tulips out of my flesh, meanwhile a bulbous tip pricks velveteen.

Stem stabbing  a useless vase.

The only florist of his kind, the only kind to ever do so.  

Nine more months to go, and he’ll have you do it again.

He’ll have you bleed  until it flows black, make you bleed until you fall slack.

Then once more for good measure-

What is once more for you, isn’t this why you were made.

It won’t stop him from doing it to another, and don’t forget the other.

Yet he wonders, out loud, why you want to die.  

That exhilarating gas clogging up my lungs was the only time I ever felt alive. 

When I was doused in a fog of death, tell me, why did I feel so vibrant?  

The third one tied a white bandage around my wrist that held an identity.

It was not mine, but a lozenge that embedded itself against the tube of a Yew tree.

A reward. 

It was salvation, a blessing, that I had been the one to come out alive.

That is what I tell myself. It was my demise, and I had to deal with it. 

It is the pain, it is the suffering, that keeps you alive. Otherwise you are electrical.

It is  the pain, darling, he drawls, that binds you to me. Suffer a little bit more, for me.

Suffer?

Yes.  

Then threatens you with the ward that houses white coats. Nurses that would bring me hope 

in paper cups and sculpted containers, giving me the freedom I yearned for. 

Numbness would have been kinder.  

Loving the devil, loving the devil would have been easier than this. 

Why was I so devoted in the first place?

So quick to turn to that circular white gold that stained my finger after three years –

yours left a blanch from your constant removal. 

I had not wanted to give up that life of imprisonment.

I was hungry for a man that had me licking his accolades

off the chapped lips of another woman who already tasted of him.  

We were applicants.

Did we touch each other correctly, I wonder? 

Lick the soles of his boots until it modeled the perfect dolls, our servility was a celebration. 

My depression, a laughingstock.

It was nothing.

Nothing of importance there in that pew. It was nothing new. 

He held himself in the pulpit. A cut paper shadow that delivered the perfect speech  

of dominance and obedience.

It is your job to do this. Will you do this? I am not asking. 

Eight treading foot falls pounding, pounding down on these boards while he speaks so.  

My brain bright and dumb like the red island that removed itself from her crevice. 

The place was a sack, a receptacle of babies, loud and swaddled.

Fingers changing the clothes I had not a hand in choosing. 

That lofty little soul ripped my organs in twos; the steps now coming in ten.

I only did  what I knew how to do.

The perfect housewife, the meek little toy, good for nothing. 

They hold you on a pedestal for the mere purpose of being an object.

The men in business suits leering at you.

I had truly come to believe I was an item, paperweight. No value to the face. 

My demise hits me at full speed;  

newly baptized with a stole that singes itself round my neck.  

That Alb of his neatly holding me in place; a sacrificial offering that won’t stop until 

it fast forwards through scenes of you and her, and three little gifts like those wise men. 

But I shall become like stone, a pillar of salt called Ado before those instances occur.  

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