To Spite One's [Body Part]
In the wake of domestic argument the human body
calls upon developed coping mechanisms
i.e. I have cultivated
a punishing stare
i.e. I imagine thin crusts of ice forming
over my internal organs.
Did you know when confronted with
a marital squabble the female greenwood salamander
reacts by shedding body parts –
first a tail a toe, a leg and then her mate
I made that up
to fuck with you.
When you lay down
next to me, I turn my head away. It’s been
a week, two or three –
The greenwood salamander can take
anywhere from three days to five years
to grow back her tail. This is the appendage
in maintaining balance.
Sometimes male greenwood salamanders
mimic the motions of their partners – perhaps
in an effort to empathize create a sense
When the tail grows back, it presents
a slightly different pattern.
This seems to have some impact
on the household, i.e. the décor
and what things the greenwood salamanders
decide to prioritize in the next phase
of their lives together.
It is painful to regrow
a new body part
as you can imagine –
the tightness of a new skin stretching
over sinew and bone – let’s not
get bogged down in details. It’s true
that some greenwoods never
grow the tail back, and in some of these instances,
she adapts to her new body
and becomes more nimble.