stone soup

holding words like stones
curled tight in the palm of
your fist. feeling them

do you believe

dig jaggedly into you,
scratching out recesses of
doubt and shame and guilt but

that suffering is

knowing that this is better,
better somehow, because
if these hateful hateful-


words were free to
screech through the air like
vultures, surely the blood

is the path to

they'd spatter would burn
when it strikes you, burn
more than your own,


pooling like water in your palm,
and shining.