was all she needed to cripple me like a starfish
so that the stub peeks out forty minutes
later, the venom-blue wound untreated,
I am prone on a coral reef polyp,
these crowns of thorns extruding their structures
on my chest until I too turn liquid,
washed in a bath of neurotoxins and
digestive enzymes. I have four fingers
inside her, my mouth latched on her collar-
bone as if I were a sucker or a
nocturnal sea star blindly attaching
to the first source of sustenance it finds.
She feeds me nectar compounded from death
overcoming, and her voice commands from
on high: all the acids will boil out.