After Jamie Paige 

by Avery Lake

I’m loud in your face like a pop-up, 

smirking in a cardboard cutout crown, 

I climb the tower –– it’s you on top up 

there. The rush is giddy when you throw me down. 

Yank my tooth out for a faggot keepsake. I know I love you when you leave me bleeding. I try to deck you out and my bones break –– it slips away –– my gestures lose their meaning. 

I’m blissed-out, seeping, babbling, lush with bruises. I start the fights; it’s me who always loses.