There Is Strength in Our Stories: Poem for RJ – Bina Ruchi Perino

At Blood Into Ink, Bina Ruchi Perino offers a story with strength in it.

Blood Into Ink

poem for r.j.

You smile, emerald pepper in hand, and you shrink me
into a single consonant, a controlled identity, the Beta.

B — her throat is the steel kettle on your electric stovetop,
simmering and boiling and compressed — she is trapped

in a Stockholm prison, where you peel apart her threads.
July is a blister, a heatwave dancing over asphalt, and B

says no until the word is a sound without meaning.
She swallows, eyes closed, mouth seared to numbness.

You buy B a subscription to National Geographic to hold
her down, another reason to be grateful dressed in a selfless

narrative, and the summer salt sits on her tongue when
the solstice weans into autumn. November, she drops

the magazines at your door, she’s itching at the throat you
forced yourself inside. B, she’s weaving her threads back

together. You know she won’t say anything, that B is
simmering and…

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