I need to feel the lash as you beat me out of me,
the white knuckle across my cheekbone as you beat me out of me.
If I seem like I want to be insensible, I am ready to leave
this body, ready to ascend to star if you beat me out of me.
Ready for a lung collapse. I will accept any form of brutality
as payment. I will beg you to beat me. Out of me,
nothing good will grow. No dogwood. No forsythia.
I am salt in soil, poison ground. Beat me out of me
so that I may forget I ever was. Concuss me,
retrograde amnesia me. Beat me out of me.
When I was a boy, my father said that the last one to woods’ edge
would drive the devil’s automobile. He beat me out. Of me,
of my preoccupation with the devil, he could barely speak.
He locked me in a distant cabin. Please, beat me out of me
and my tendency to remember. Reality is so fucking fickle
sometimes. It will be the cudgel which beats me out of me,
then hammers me back in. Loose nail. Faulty wiring.
Nothing is right. It is why I ask you to beat me out of me,
that I may be anyone but my self-obsessed self,
preening like a white seal. Beat me out of me
with the violence you have only just discovered
you needed. The devil steers. I am him. Beat me out of me.