There’s nothing wrong with my legs.
Their health is a constant reminder of my ability
to walk away.
My teeth are not chipped, my skin is not chapped
All extremities are accounted for.

Celebrity faces hang out
on newsstands next to snicker bars.
I envy their black eyes.
No one tells them how they should have fought,
how they should have screamed louder
or dialed faster

I’m even more jealous of the ones that died
It’s easier to sleep at roadside crosses
Waiting for dwindling anniversary lilies
than waiting for a verdict
1 month, 2 months, a year, a year, a year
When desert shrubs start tangling around your body,
They don’t leave much room for interpretation
They wear their spines on the outside
Play Russian roulette with the rainy season
The rusty mattress springs he took you on
Sing to coyotes because it’s better than
Dying of thirst.

Juries can’t convict on potentials
Noses at the edge of bleeding
Knuckles suspended an inch from cheekbones.

I should have worn a blouse that was easier to tear.
kept the kitchen knives closer to the bedroom
removed a few ribs for easier access to vital organs
rend clothing in a preemptive mourning
and counted buttons popping off like sheep
I should have left my drink unattended

I’m going to tell them I lied.
I’ll tell them I made it all up, there was no guy
there was no coffee, I wasn’t even there
I was too busy whispering in my own ear:
“This isn’t happening, this isn’t real,
don’t move, don’t speak,
don’t open your eyes”

I’m going to tell them it was an accident
I’m just naturally necrotic
I keep chopping of bits of myself so the rest can live
Finger paint with veins
I’ve learned it’s okay to color outside the lines.
Pry fingernails from their beds
and wish on every eyelash I pluck out.
I strike matches with my teeth,
and use them to light the coals I walk on
Hover hands over stovetops
But my lungs still protest
Noose-craving necklines
Like my jaw refuses fellatio
Of gun barrels
I’m not ready to swallow 22 caliber cum
I’ll make a cage of wire coathangers
And throw my body down stairs
Trying to abort myself in my 87th trimester
I’ve got no time for a clinic
I need to do this right the first time
Because if I don’t die before they bring out the thumbscrews,

I’m going to tell them everything I know

Laura L – 6/13/2010