Clean by Pamela Riley


It’s a quiet collision –
my temples hard
and at attention,
singe to the scalp
and my mouth full
of rubber balls
to keep my tongue quiet.
This is only routine
you say, wisely nodding
your head
at the light above me.
I feel leather sting my wrists –
the poetry within
gloaming in the spilled light.
You say relax
and bite down,
knowing this will not stop
till I emerge new and clean.


About Pamela Riley