Gentle I said:
She strangled bruises with her mouth.
I remember my tree cabin
and how the peeled bark died,
so smooth when it first came off.
I traced it for hours, like your skin.
But it pains to watch you.
I want to give you your bark back,
but somebody already scaled it away,
slice by slice.
Now you sit alone and do it for them.
And when I see you tremble
all I know to say is gentle.

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