You say I would be better off
apologizing to the ruptured capillaries
of your neck, shoulder, collarbone.
Some things I refuse to do. Others
I refuse and do anyway. You repay
the kindness by making a prison
wall of my back, the captive days
hash-marked and raw. Summer languishes,
the breeze from the window, the fan
at the foot of the bed, like lying
in a shallow, lukewarm stream. Nothing
will cleanse what bleeds through
the next page, the indelible reminders.
What stains and does not wash. What
is not washed, in case.