Ian Mullins

Self-Inflicted


I love the scrape, the scar,
the damp rush of blood
the moment before
the skin breaks; when
my body and its disease
hold each other
like two people fucking
in the dark, pissing
in each other's mouths
to feel how much
we can dirty ourselves
but still come clean:

revel in not knowing
why it all makes sense
under the sheets
the way it never does
in daylight, when I pick
the stale scabs of evidence
from the pillow
in a worthless shame
I decry as discretion;
pad the red wounds dry
to scab another night
scraping myself down
to my favorite size.

Don’t apologize; never
explain. My body
is the only one who never
turns me down,
but I do it to be bloody,
I do it to be alive:
to spite the worthless shit
that says no
every day in the mirror.
Take a look at him;
he hasn’t a drop of shame
to spare. That’s why
I take him undercover;
to teach him a lesson
he’ll never forget.



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