Beautiful Intensity


On a cold metal table,


and it smells cloyingly clean,

a hospital waiting room for body modification.


The room is too small. Feels even smaller

when the man walks in, displaces air;

scraggy beard, bullring,

four packaged needles and four

stainless steel bars.


“Gotta put these in the autoclave.

We’ll pierce your nipples first,

then the VCH,

then we’ll finish with your tongue.”


He’s done to soon. No time for apprehension.

Gloved hands prod my left nipple,

finding the perfect angle.

“A quick one-two and then I’ll put

the jewelry in. Take a deep breath

and hold it.”


I hold my breath, my yelp.

Push in, twist, push out.

Bright burning pain, explosion

of nausea, vision whiting out

and all I can hear is the ringing in my ears.


Riding an endorphin high,

don’t notice that the bar

is already in place. A work of art.

He pulls off his gloves to get a new pair,

walking to the autoclave for the next needle.


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