Collateral Damage

At first, speeding through red lights
felt willfully reckless, like smoking
at a gas station. But I’ve been hit
enough to know that I am stronger
than a car hood. When the driver
scrambles out of the front seat with
oh my god, are you alright? I’m already
kicking off the crumpled bike-frame
and staggering to my feet, my heart
spinning its light out the new apertures
of my skin. The hood-ornament snaps off
in my fingers, my spit sizzles on the
fender. The driver sees my tongue,
red-hot through my smile and hey wait,
what’re you
—I kick out her old-lady
kneecaps, throw the little jaguar through
the windshield and it shatters out the back,
ringing the car with glass. I fling the
broken bike on top of the car, spraying
my blood everywhere. I hiss out a couple
cracked teeth and trudge to the back door,
elbow in the window and your grandma’s
a terrible driver.
The kids scream
and I laugh the blood’s not even hers.

At first it felt conspiratorial trying to
kill myself in public. But now it’s
just me washing everything I see
in a fountain of blood, look how
it keeps coming, it never stops.

Front page image by Robbie Sproule.

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