My Father’s Wounds

I tear the robe open. Father's belly’s a ruin—but he has been, as he is in all things, strangely exacting. I press in with my fingers, feeling the wound’s edges; mercifully, they don’t go up underneath the ribs. No, he’s slashed his intestines with expert precision—a deadly but slow wound. Plenty of time before swollen guts and poisoned blood will take his life.

Father guides my hand to the ruin of his belly. My fingers sink into the wound, touching something moist and pulsing—
Bone Diamond

"Shh," I whisper. I lift my bone shears and disconnect his left clavicle at the articular process, snap it at the foramen. He is screaming but I do not hear it. The smooth shank of bone sucks out of the trembling meat of his back, and I hold it up to the gathering dawn light. There, buried in the center, is a diamond, blazing a deep and furious red at its heart.

I crack the first crocodile's left clavicle there in the dawn-lit street, find it empty.
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Ink and Blood
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Her smile made him feel like someone other than pudgy Wilhelm from the paper store.