Conor Madigan

Once Again, Knees

bleed as only chiton and stone cut, and puncture while Brendon kneels and watches thin, bright blood spread to salt water sweat stream, red down his shins, feet, toes and stone. Low tide waves lap, yards below on beach next high cliff wall, Mason’s legs, shed her suit, and she taunts Brendon with a plastic pink comb through long black hair. “You’ll die,” says Mason, her middle finger then extends, “prick.” Brendon spits on his palms and presses them upon his knees to mix salt, blood, saliva, and—he thinks: Mason’s cum. He holds his palms before him, testament to his climb, his day.