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The Hurt Sonnet

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Dark days when I awaken so I slump
                             back to the swamp of his armpit, a whit

from the arachnid he inked to the stump
                that’s left. So close to the vestige of it,

                                            the danger he’s a reliquary of:
               tattooed noose to venerate the fist

                            of a slug buried still in his butt above
a white cross for the men he didn’t miss.

               If only I could strip off the black map
I sleep against and be his liniment,

                            gloss over the explosion, the mishap
                                           phantom he feels in a forearm itch.

               He won’t leave the long tale his tattoos read
                           for me, so I amend the story.

Source: Poetry (November 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Hurt Sonnet

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