“Wait,” he whispers.
“Let’s just lie here
a little while longer.
She rests her head on his shoulder
and stays still
because moving
means acknowledging
that what’s done is done
and they can’t take it back.

She wakes up at home later that morning.
Her lips are swollen
from kissing him,
and her right hand hurts
where his dog broke the skin
trying to bite her
when she entered the bedroom.
She’s right-handed,
and everything she touches —
in the shower,
or drinking coffee,
or opening the pack with the tiny white pill —
stings and reaffirms her belief
that she should have seen the dog
for what it was:
her own gut instinct come to life.



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2 responses to “Bitten

  1. The first time I read this, I was listening to “Thresher” by Shovels and Rope and even though the song’s subject matter probably has precious little to do with this piece’s subject matter, the way they coordinated for me at that time brought me to tears in the bathroom of my office.

    • I’ve never heard that song before, but I’m listening now. Even though the poem and the song are so different, I love when stuff like that happens — it feels like the universe is aligning.

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