to keep things in perspective; not all bites break skin. Consider cause and effect, how each pain is instructive. A mouth wired shut. Another, pursed, in remorse, for a closed-mouth kiss. It’s said that idle hands are the devil’s tools, but the hand that rotates at the wrist is not the hand to mete out justice. (Better that such hands be—in all fairness—cut off at the elbow.) A frayed rope swing, tied loosely to a knotty tree, blows over a wind-whipped lake. Waits for a body. Consider desire’s center: at the root of vulnerability, always a wound.