whisper-light in my right jeans pocket;
I hardly notice
it’s enough to buy groceries
for a month—
the weight: that insignificant.
Bells on the door
chime when I enter.
I ask if he’s here
because I’m ready—
I notice his eyes first,
when he surfaces from the back rooms,
and then his substantial height;
somehow it means more to me at this moment.
He leads me down the hallway
to a room,
tells me to have seat
while he prepares,
slides latex over skin
and looks so business-like about it
as my friend situates herself on a stool in the corner
I pull my faculty t-shirt over my head,
unhook my bra,
wondering if he is still busying himself
or if he watches at times like this.
My breasts are exposed briefly
until I can grab my shirt and recover my modesty,
straddling the black leather chair in the middle of the room,
situated like a display table.
Knowing he’ll need greater access,
I unzip my jeans
and pull them low over my hips.
He touches me first with his left hand,
and sets forth with the honeyed prick
dripping down my skin,
wiping away the blood as he
moves in deeper:
it begins to hurt more,
less of a throb,
more a piercing stab;
I remind myself that I’ve purchased this pain,
and that I will thank him later
for talents and services rendered.
I hook my bare feet together under the chair
and pull to isometrically subside
His mercy allows a few pauses.
Stretched and ready to continue,
I close my eyes, dig my teeth into my now swollen bottom lip,
tasting the sweat dripping slowing from my temples,
and become more aware of the thickness of my tongue.
When he is through,
he gently wipes me down,
the coolness of alcohol,
the anti-septic sweetness of a clean job:
I turn my back to the mirror
hung on the wall for such a purpose
and there: the marks he has left upon me…
his pen—the needle,
my skin—the bleached parchment,
his poem—a permanent veil of flowers on my flesh.