We’re inculcated with
the intimacy of blood
early. Touch it, feel it, get used
to being ashamed.
Scabby knees? Please.
Get your resignations in order.
By the time this is done,
you will have bled more
than half a field of Civil War
soldiers. For all intents and purposes,
you ARE one. Your body,
Antietam, crosshatched with wired
wooden barriers.
Break out the violences,
strip back their flesh,
make a slapping noise when you force
your knees together in public
places. As I said: civil
war. As I also said:
you.
Does it hurt yet?
Good.

_________________________________________________________

Abigail Kirby Conklin lives in New York City, where she works in education and curriculum development. Her poetry has been published by The Lampeter Review and Flumes Literary Journal, and featured by Indolent Books’ “What Rough Beast” project, the blog Bonus Cut’s poetry series, and the poetry site The Shed.