banish me. drain my blood-water
like sulfur-thick yolk from a cracked
egg. take the hammer daddy gave us,
his initials burned in the handle
like the thumbprint birthmark
on your thigh—our only birthrights—
and splinter this skull like he
taught us. he said, one day
the killing thing will get you,
too. he said, don't cry. he said,
you can't sweat it out. you must
pull fever-thread through your ears
until the riddle unravels. so do it.
violence me aseptic, dig
your fingernails in my flesh
so hard they snap off. please try
to purge every dead thing, even
if there'll be nothing of me left.
DEAN SYMMONDS is a queer poet from the South seeking zir BA in Creative Writing at Hollins University. Ze works as a Poetry Editor at Persephone's Daughters, and is an alumna of the Hollows Shout the Mountains Down Winter Tangerine workshop. Zir poems have been published in magazines like [empath], Gravel, The Album, and Crab Fat Magazine. You can find zem on Twitter @poetpersephone.