By Ashleigh Hatter

Bleed black on bounded skin
branching from a spine—boneless, rigid, begging to be cracked/ right down the middle—
and mix the blood with vision and scent,
add within a life unspent,
add within a dream unlent,
add within a room unrent,
tie it to a truthful splint, and dip into, a carving pick.
to decorate these tomes of skin.

Carving in and taking out,
heaps of breathing, steaming flesh/
a plethora of viscera, so visceral this carnal scene
and flesh so fresh and art serene.
See what we mean?
See what they mean?
See what it seems to mean to tear the seam and toss the Mean in favour of the Mode?
Carving and taking and mixing and making,
all actions of a time so old,
and though favor lusts for the bold,
it is oft the quiet brain,
hunched in night places, tool shaking,
soul moaning, breaking the silence, like a groaning toad.

Cutting deeper, over, over,
Peeling off and digging under,
Plucking out and bleeding ever into that well.

For stories demand the life of their teller,
and writers will always have stories to tell.

While you’re here, check out some of these other unique poems.

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