sometimes they steal pieces of your skin afterwards,
make bookmarks out of you, stretch you into lamp shades.
some of them don’t even realize what they’re doing,
wake up one morning to admire the wallpaper they
didn’t know they had. there is a piece of you in every
bedroom in every apartment, turned anonymous and
functional. they turn your tattoos into decorative doilies,
your back (once caressed in the half-light) into a placemat
where they eat at a table that used to be set for two.
you wake up one morning missing a few inches of calf
and know they’re just patching up a pair of pants,
smoothing out the old fingerprints, snipping with care
they never showed you in the first place. soon you will
be nothing but exposed muscle, a switchboard of breathing
raw nerves. press here and you will raise your empty hands,
press here and your heart will explode over and over again.