I’m not apologizing / when I offer my head to the leash // of your hands
It’s been months since the last time I came
home, which is maybe why my mother accidentally
gave me a collar for my birthday.
Seeing it at the mall
made her miss me, and it’s not fair
that these days, missing me
is the only way of loving
me that I give to my mother. I ask her
which part of using an animal’s skin to fence
in the neck of another animal reminds her
of me, exactly, even though I keep
telling myself I’m not going to be mean
anymore. Now you know
just how bad I am
at hurting, hurting which I know
to be a kind of love and thus, too,
a kindness. I’m not apologizing
when I offer my head to the leash
of your hands, but kneeling
at your waist, a part of me
is always saying sorry to my mother.
If I’m being honest, it doesn’t matter
to me if there is violence in the leather.
wouldn’t be able to feel
the difference. Some nights, I even dream of wearing
your fist inside my mouth, your ring
finger glossed in spit.
And then I inherit what my mother has
always known: without the body,
every piece of jewelry just becomes
another hole we imagine
being filled by someone