In this night’s dark stain, come, lay beside me;
I will take you, man without a name,
who turns his face away and bites my shoulder,
who needs but cannot bear the bitter dregs.
I will carry your weight, as every sister
who wore the handflower became the bangle,
learned to spread her bones and sink beneath
the waves of each particular obsession.
Curses follow me of those who fear my right
and shudder to know the love I count in minutes
of every hour, who spit their gall where I laugh.
This flesh is mine, it has bled, and shed,
like a snakeskin every unworthy touch
and kept for itself, the taste of one kiss.
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Charlotte Perkins Gilman Poems
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