Fifteen Stitches

Elizabeth Tsung
Elizabeth Tsung

Love is well-versed in this,
the way you try to slide it

up your sleeve— the knee-jerk,
the too much color in your cheeks,

the urge to scream. Love knows
that this will be brief. Doesn’t worry,

knows you swallowed every bit
of your life down looking for it—

so it laughs at how your teeth
try to chew on thirst. This

desire, this drive, all gas pedal
no steering wheel. Tries to

warn you but the brake lights
are blown out. Love doesn’t mind

the occasional head trip,
says, honey, I know graffiti,

how you’re trying to paint over
the colorless, how your hands

will hold the stain for a bit
but you’ll never wash them

of the crime. Says, it’s okay
to eat your heart out over this,

it’s okay to invite them all over
to watch, knife & fork in hand

as you make the incision wider,
as you hand out the blindfolds

so they won’t see him
wipe the blood

from your mouth. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This poem can be found in Amanda’s free chapbook, When Minerva’s Knees Hit the Ground .

Amanda Oaks is the founding editor of Words Dance Publishing, an independent press, literary blog + biweekly online poetry journal.

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