I am the character in this book.
At least I want to be.
The way she loves is just right.
I felt a tickle when she took
That feather to his foot
The sting on his hand
When she snapped that rubber band.
An ant marches across page seventy-eight.
The pain lingers unusually long—
I always knew my imagination was strong.
Trying to move my toe to and fro
I felt nothing but cool air on open flesh.
Look, I must not,
For there was that time he pulled his blister off.
Ten ants march across my hand.
Burns travelled up my calf
As he stepped into the boiling bath
Stings, pricks, and cuts reveal my ribs
When the ink enters his skin on his eighteenth birthday.
Although I stopped reading, my pain increased.
These ants look like they want to feast.
At age nine I saw a ‘possum on the side of the road.’
I ran up and studied its bloodied fur and rotting holes.
“It has rabies!” I yelled to my father.
“Rabies are contagious,” said my brother.
For days I thought I had contracted
Rabies from sight.
I’ve been told I am the hypochondriac of the family.
In measures to defeat sickness I ignore the pain willingly.
The book slips from my fleshless hands—
Hits my holey cheek, then lands.
Rhythmic breaths slow down in my chest.
My eyes roll back as the stings begin to rest.