Spring from your mother, corded, thrashing, gasping to be set free. Breathe on your own. Howl and flail, fists knotted. Clamp onto your mother’s breast, suck and suck until comfort snags you. Suck more. Grab earrings, tug hair, bite your sister’s arm. Her shoulder. Her calf. Raise your arms to be lifted, cradled. Hurl toys. Leap from the couch, collide with the coffee table’s sharp corner. Bleed and bleed until you cry. Bleed more. Slip into your mother’s bed when nights are moonless, nestle close as a newborn deer. Swallow the nicknames geek, little bitch, loser. Skip sleepovers. Get picked last for football, annihilated first in tag. Sting and sting like an ant on hot pavement. Sting more. Don’t cry. Spit wickedness spiked with bile. Punch. Listen to Slipknot. Diecast. Korn. Crank the bass, pound on your bedroom wall. Learn to box. Write a story about shooting your tormentors, exhilarated watching them stiffen, reborn after they die. Listen to them snicker as you let your mother kiss you. Tell her to stop. Get a driver’s license. Drive and drive and taste the car’s power. Drive more. Play Ghost Ride the Whip and Drifting, goading 3,000 pounds of cold metal. Smoke bud. Toss back Busch Lights. Kiss your first girlfriend, pinch her breasts, spread her whispering legs wide. Trust her to smooth your jagged edges before she splinters your naked heart. Drink and drink so you can no longer feel her. Drink more. Fall down stairs. Plaster your face to a concrete wall. Break your cheek and nose, your eyes blackened. Vow to dodge love. Sleep and sleep. Sleep more. Rekindle your riven heart, feel it pump with a force too strong. Spring back into the world. Laugh and laugh to outmuscle your memories. Laugh more. Draw in air as you howl. Suck and suck until again you’re alive. Suck more. Tattoo Mom on your bicep, a heart pierced by barbed wire on your breastbone. Inside your lip ink A man breathes alone. Feel your mouth vibrate and throb, fists knotted. Feel yourself burn.