I know how to pray.
I begin coming.
A word falls.
She tells me to hold still. Wait until I feel my fingers becoming red. Until my fingers are old red. Here with her. I hold my fingers in place inside her. In places my fingers move. Her body. Cunt down onto my bent wrist. I want my hand further in her but she is too small or too tight. Or it is an angle. I'm afraid. This may hurt. I'm afraid I will hurt you. I'll break your wrist. "Relax your muscles and collapse onto my hand." Let go. Two fingers two knuckles deep and twisted inside her. She stays perfectly still. I keep my fingers silent inside the inside of her cunt. Now, a third finger two knuckles deep. A fourth. She refuses movement but her eyes are frantic. I can see the flow of blood in her eyes. There can be no words in this much bleeding. My fingers becoming red. Her blood down my arm. For two days. For three nights. To not give in to fatigue. Her blood remains on my fingers. I pray I become her blood. She could no longer locate her bleeding through names. There is no place in here, she once told me, for making letters. Just a pause in her speech. To see blood without saying. This morning I am nothing but my birth. But I can't cover myself in skin again.
- originally appeared in Yellow Bat Review #1 (2001)