In these five hundred days she
has learnt how to button up
and down, down, down.
One circle at a time, slowly,
painfully, she would get rid of
words that she thought defined her
self, on, and on, and on.

Sometimes the thread was off the hole.
Sometimes the plastic marked under her nail
like a bite at some body part
she had forgotten she had.
Sometimes one edge was off the other
like envy had swallowed up
eyes she had forgotten she had.

She kept stripping anyway
layers of clothes, on the floor
her feet felt no more sure than they were.

She kept ripping anyway
layers of skin, under her nails
what was once bitten was no more – oblivion.

What was she flashing about?
What was she fleshing about?

Sometimes the breast was off the shirt.
Sometimes the strap marked down to her collar
bone bitten by her own body
she had forgotten she had.
Sometimes one sex was off the other
like lust that had followed up
but – she had forgotten she’d had

those five hundred days.
She had learnt how to live up to
expectations and down, down.
One cycle at a time, painkillingly,
heartbreakingly, she had gotten to the rim of
words that would always define herself
and them, hem, hem.

*** Poem written for dVerse Poets Pub. You might have got that the prompt was ‘buttons’… That was my version of it, together with a -sadly expressed- celebration of my 100th post on Hiroshimem. Please don’t be mistaken, I’m actually quite happy that I was able to write so many posts. Thanks to everyone who read and slash or commented. Feedback is always appreciated. ***