ribs bend until sallow bone is

almost broken, the weight,


splinter, we had to.

lungs are oxygen inhaled, purity and

purpose, pleading capillaries—carmine red

and so rotten, so dead.

hands freeze, dry-ice. vaporous and vapid, the heat

released, the cold triumphant.

now, hearts are tobacco-black. it was

you who singed me, you who cringed and

it was I, who winced.