The Mark of Anubis
Waking up the morning after
it looks like a honey badger
went hunting in the room;
the doors hangs like something
out of a Hitchcock movie,
swooning on one hinge ,
and singed fur is the incense
lingering above the bed sheets.
A glaring red hickey remains
tattooed on the side of my neck
as last night’s deeds follow me to work.
“A bruise,” I explain, “I gained from a golf ball
flying at my jugular. Freak accident.”
“It’s an isolated chicken pox incident .”
Better to be a freak accident
or the repeat of a rash
than to give away the secret treasure passion
marked with a big “X”
(for then anyone can find pleasure spots
with a proper map).
I’ve been wearing turtlenecks all week;
scarves and frozen spoons cover
the disease that I promise isn’t contagious,
but whose footprints traverse that invisible
line between pain and breathlessness:
the same boundary that chilies lie on.
“You should have seen the other fighter.”
My tough hide armor, dyed red
from the force of your incisors
like a peeling wood-carved signature
left on the wall of a hotel room:
“we were here.”
By the next full moon
the bruises will recede;
they do not need to be temporary.