She thought at first it was Bell's palsy
as they lay together on the nettle grass,
shared the pipe. He'd spread a quilt of fine animal skins
beneath her, his trophy specimens. It was only when the bells rang
she realized they were still beneath her, still alive.
The strawman in the forest liked to hear the cries.
She liked to do it in the open, with the whole world watching.
The voyeurs gathered around the edge of the wood
as she struggled for their attention, one slim leg
cast open to asymmetrical abandon.
But those goddamn bells... She wished they'd quit ringing.
"Do unto others...do unto others"
The monks in the temples hid their heads in shame.
Before the palsy claimed him it would take away
his ability to speak,
to even cry.