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We sat across the table.
he said, cut off your hands.
They are always poking at things.
They might touch me.
I said yes.

Food grew cold on the table.
he said, burn your body.
It is not clean and smells like sex.
It rubs my mind sore.
I said yes.

I love you, I said.
That's very nice, he said
I like to be loved,
that makes me happy.
Have you cut off your hands yet?

marge piercy



the friend