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September 13, 2016 Poetry

If I Had to Lick Wounds

Parisa Thepmankorn

If I Had to Lick Wounds photo

Say you plant carmine velvet between my shoulders & break glass

like fertilizer on my skin. Say I must count cells & watch

small deaths & strain skin as cheesecloth & catch

the pieces. I am a hoarder trying to salvage pieces. Say I am

just trying to fill in the lines. Say Denver is still Colorado

even without the woods and the cliffs. Say I want to gut

myself like a pomegranate & wring out the juice & drink

my body dry & pee into a cup & do it again. Say an outlaw

has put a gun to my neck & I try to turn blood into bone

& keep myself from cracking like eggshells & spilling tissue

upon tissue. Say I am too heavy to carry. Say the radio is tuned

to static. Say there is no glue gun, no iodine. Say there are only

two sticks & friction turns to fire & say I once watched a surgeon

cauterize veins. Say I had to. I could.


image: Aaron Burch