These ink stains—dark as old blood—
well in each curve, fill groove and whorl,
carve stark patterns against my skin.
Words flood from these fresh wounds:
I’ve made them myself, kept scores
in sensitive flesh. Let me ask you,
what choice did I have?
Later, syntax clogged and clotted,
wrecked my clean lines, pulsed
on the page distinct as inkblots.
My Rorschach. Let me ask you,
what choice do you see?
(Bat or butterfly?
Chalice or staff?
The woman in
Sin and salvation.
(In words and in blood
there is both.)