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EXIT WOUND

I walked into this butcher shop
on a whim and saw
a young woman standing behind
an old-fashioned meat grinder
that looked like an upside down,
thick, silver bell with a crank wheel
and a lamprey mouth on the bottom
to spit out the ground meat.

I walked up to her and said
"You're very beautiful"
and she just smiled
and then I said
"I care for you far too much"
and she just nodded, so I stuck
my hand in the meat grinder
while she turned the handle.

The wheels went around
as the reduction gears did their work
and the metal teeth chewed
through my skin, muscle and tendons
before crushing bone.
Finally my wrist jammed the thing
and she had to stop.

She frowned at me and said,
"Doesn't that hurt?" and I said "No.
These wounds always look worse
than they are," but I wasn't telling
the whole truth.

      — Denver Perkins