For Services Rendered

Hit me, he says. No, it will make you feel better. The crush of a bystander's fist into an enemy's abandoned weapons makes spectators turn into gladiators, sometimes. I believe it'll happen in you, everything will be all right. I don't believe in fear.

Kiss me, he says. Yeah, now is fine, whenever. A mouth can make things. I like watching parodies and auburn forest fires when people let their roots of love burst into heart-shaped flames. That's why lips look like melted hearts. I know your lips can make things. (Cut me out one if you can.)

Fuck me, he says. Yeah, burrow into whatever protection I can give you. I've got this body if you've lost yours. No, really, that's everything I have and it's never been mine. Take me, take this. Before the body loses its willingness to mold, dropping all of its use into the pockets of whoever passes it. You're still making new things, and this body's just change.

Leave me, he says. No, yes go. I've been dried up and strung out for too long now. I don't know how to carry a body in the bowl of my hips anymore. I've got a hollow back bone and not much to bet on it now. Yeah, leave me, before what this body was catches up with its rendered services, and I'm gone.

…And I never wanted you to be waiting for the clap of air that takes back the space where this blunt instrument hung itself for the days we worked together. I thought -

Meet me, he says. I've never seen you before. But I believe that kindness makes heavy treads over backbones that have lost the bodies they were intended to carry. So other bodies will do. Everything will be all right. I'm just a tool that made itself.