By CL Bledsoe
The first time I was shot in the back
of the head was an accident. I was stumbling
home from the village, in my cups. A man
stepped out of the woods. I didn’t see
the one behind. Neither saw me until after

they’d fired. The second time I was shot
in the back of the head was in war. Actually,
the next three times were during wars. One
from friendly fire, the soldiers tired of my
constant demands for valiance. One while

I was running back to mama’s skirts to beg
her forgiveness. The middle one was mercy —
more for the men who could no longer stand
my cries as the bones in my shattered legs
shifted, cutting me from the inside.

In between, I was stabbed, drowned, fell
from a giant balloon. I died in childbirth,
as a child, as a mother. Once, I was nearly
hanged but acquitted when the witness
found God and recanted, though I surely

committed the crime. The fifth time
I was shot in the back of the head was
revenge, my wife who I’d kept as a virtual
pet enraged to discover me pleasuring
myself at another bowl and ended us both,

though I’ve been the other woman, the wife,
the spinster raped and left to bleed out. I’m always
dying. Each time, a bullet, cancer, open wells
to plunge into. The greed of other men, jealousies
and lust. We tell each other stories, that we’re

going somewhere better. Then we wake, naked,
ignorant, to make the same mistakes, sure
each time is the last.

Stuff My Stupid Heart Likes by CL Bledsoe (co-author of https://medium.com/@howtoeven and The Wild Word: https://medium.com/search?q=not%20another%20tv%20dad)

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