The inside of my mouth is torn and sapid. My inner lips taste like blood and fresh flesh, though the skin is just ripped and pulled apart, not actually bloody or scabbed. Still, they have that sweet blood taste to them. I have heard that the mouth heals faster than anywhere else on the body; I think it is the constant cleansing power of saliva. My saliva saturates the slashes on the inside corners of my lips.
There were balls of fabric stuffed into my mouth again and again that victimized my gums and stretched my lips. It was tape stuck to my mouth that kept my lips shut and the gags inside sneaky-creeping down my throat. I was afraid that the glue from the tape had stripped the natural red color from my mouth, but to suffer the tape only added to the blush.
There are no visible marks on my neck this time. The pain there dominates from the inside. It is throughout my throat like rings of rope somehow circling the interior of my skin. That is how my throat feels, as if rings have been coiled around it to make it longer and more valuable. Although I know it was rope wound round my throat, it seems I can differentiate circles as though they were isolated coils, precise and defined.
My collar bones and the depression in between them at the center of my neck and the very top of my chest carry so much sensation and tenderness that I began to think the bones inside of my skin may have chipped. When I touch this part of my body with my fingers it feels much different to me and unfamiliar, like the structure underneath the skin has been transformed. The bones feel prominent and unset from their places.
I cannot keep my own hands from my neck and I wonder if I am trying to reclaim a perception of vulnerability, or is it control? Or ownership? Maybe it’s something completely different. Perhaps chasing the safety I feel when you are bending me to you, relieving me of my sovereignty and journeying with me to my abyss.
My ribcage feels smaller, actually smaller, constrained. In the shower while washing I am made aware of the crushing of my bones when I touch my torso. I am thin and can differentiate my ribs with the touch of my fingers. As I run my hands along the curves of my rib cage I encounter the vacillating tenderness where sometimes the binds were tighter, sometimes chokingly constrictive.
When I reach my hands above my head the skin from the inside of my upper arms down through my armpits and into the sides of my rib cage feels restricted and injured. If I had not been there I would think that you had whipped me across my chest. There are no visible lesions, welts or bruising on the skin, but on the inside, again, there is that impression, that feeling… this constant and stinging awareness evincing my endurance.
This same action, holding my arms up above my head in the air creates a stretching sensation throughout my chest. It takes extreme effort to reach and to bend my arms and torso and I do it much more frequently than is necessary because it forces me into a certain peace and tranquility.
On the fleshy part of my ass there are three lovely, thin welts. I was not even aware of them until I sat down on a hard chair and a burning that I could not ignore revealed them. A trinity of slender, pink ribbons lashed onto my skin, like tributaries streaming from the left globe across the divide and regaining power over the right globe until they thin and delicately fade away into my thighs. Three pretty, young welts demanding attention, enlisting pause.
From shoulder to shoulder across my chest and around my back there is a certain inflamed pressure. I think that if I could see my bones they would have red lashes where the rope was tied too tight, and still, not tight enough.
I wear your imprints as tangible evidence of progress. Guests on my body, they govern me for the time that they sojourn here. They draw my beauty to the surface, eliciting an attraction that becomes me. I will worship them until they abandon me.
My body has been torn apart and pieced back together but has not quite found its place yet. As the days unfold my limbs gently and not so gently drift back home. My skin rewraps itself around the bones and muscles inside. The red, brown and pink marks vanish quite beautifully, like birds disappearing into the distance despite the fixity of my gaze.