The Mark of Anubis


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.

Bite me.

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