Kim Hooyboer
On Desire

Trace my veins and tell me lies.
Read me my lifelines.

Tease the threshold.
Ease a hushed finger down my wrist
where the veins fan out in fleshy mounds,
river delta of my hand,
skin so pale the streams run clear.

Ink in the lines. Follow until they disappear
beneath the skin, callused and opaque.
Make up the rest. Throw anatomy to the wind.
Allow my blood
to weave elaborate root systems.
Draw its true form.


Now, carve them out. Watch the blood pool
beneath the blade, leaving a slug-like crimson trail in its wake.
Follow the ink with meticulous care,
across the shoulder,
down the neck,
skim the groove
of my clavicle,
to the heart of things.
Pry back the skin and scoop
a single nail beneath each thread.
Pull. They will detach in fleshy strings.
Rip them out.
Rearrange. Reroute.
Bleed me dry until I am an ivory shell,
loose leaf paper, dusty flakes.
Just don't let me see;

you know I can't stand the sight
of blood.