Acts of Beautiful Violence

It was your thumb in my mouth, nail scraping roof,
then rivulets of blood collecting in the cracks of my lip.

I liked being bad for you more than I liked being good.
I mean, I liked holding your hand, too, but there was

something deliciously appealing in pinning them down,
anticipating your surrender. As I held you in captivity

certain words came flooding into my consciousness:
religion, August, limitless, distance. And now, years

later, I am still trying to find the poem that exists
within the gaps of those disconnected units, within

fading memories of drying blood on bedsheets, acts
of beautiful violence, the summer we learned to speak.

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