It takes a fall to start the heavy bruising:
those concrete stairs like fourteen iron bars
with gravity inflicted on my torso,
on shoulder, shin, kneecap, groin, and lower jaw;
and shame, the public shame of it all, most painful.
There was blood at the time from broken vessels,
the red paint of shame on my prying finger-tips
all I experienced, mercifully short-lived -
somebody turned the tide off, I mean deep
inside, from where the shame with the blood had spoken.
That was the first sign of healing, I recall,
like a ceasing of rainfall, the last drips gone:
the bruising in half a dozen places now
dignified, each a freshly dug burial ground
where the disturbed soil would merge into the land.