the way you tried, at first, to pick the little bones out of your hands

was by nibbling at your fingertips. they were effluence, you said,

you said these hands are good for nothing, i kneaded dough that only

served to bake bad bread. i molded clay that only served to sculpt cracked pots.

i caressed a man's cheek in bed and it only served to make me cry,

you said. so with a boning knife you took the little bones from your hands.

--

the way you tried, at first, to remove the muscles from your legs

was by rubbing your calves against sandpaper. they were useless, you said,

you said these legs are good for nothing, i ran miles to win the race and lost.

i stamped my foot to make a point and no one listened. i swam into

the middle of the lake to save a girl and she drowned, you said.

so with a piano wire you sawed the muscles off your bones.

--

the way you tried, at first, to help your skull free your brain

was by smashing your head on a claw-foot bathtub. it was too full, you said,

you said this head is good for nothing, i thought of things that only

served to hurt other people. i studied hard in school and flunked

all of my classes. i tried to remember to love my love better but i forgot,

you said. so with a jump you fell from the seventh story.

--

the way we tried, at first, to get rid of your belongings

was by selling them. it's all just junk, tawny said, she said,

we can't keep all this junk. so we started giving it away, we gave some kids

your bike but it had a flat. we gave your books to a used book store

but it gave the cashier a paper cut. we donated your clothes to goodwill

but when we came back a year later they were still on the rack.

so finally we divvied up your shoes and each pair had a tack in them,

like if it hurt we wouldn't forget you,

or something.