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Dear Critic,

ISSUE:  Spring 2004

This pain is so familiar
(we were all children once)
I let it ride my back. I offer it in,
and I say, Eat this plum, fat and split,
some part of me, a sweet organ
—if not for you,
it will be left to the fruit flies,
that dizzy breath, that spot
of writhing shade.
I say, Lie on this bed.
I say, I will sleep here
        next to you.
My blood will take comfort
in the sheets, will be loved
        into the mattress
and years from now someone
will scrub the blood in the sun
and know only
that someone slowly died here.


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