The day we met again, I burned the tip
off my middle finger, and spent the afternoon
with it extended to the world.

I burned it on hot sugar wax, right after saying to myself
don’t burn yourself with this.

I was waxing because I remembered how we’d made each other laugh
the night we met, and the way your laughter had
bubbled inside me
and how I wanted you to think I was the kind of girl who
always looked the way the world says a girl should look
so I sat with my finger under the tap, one armpit bare
the other hairy,
summoning up the courage to go on.

(Twenty minutes under running water is best
for a burn, although scientists
don’t yet know why.)

Did I say
don’t burn yourself
because I knew I would?

The day we met again, I came home and wished I could
take out my heart and hold it
under the tap


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