There simply being an “other” at all, hurt him.
Just to contemplate it, spoilt everything.
The other, who’d insist on saying hello,
Forcing him to look out into the world and show himself for a few seconds,
Embarrass himself with a half-hearted account when it could have been avoided so easily,
Even just to answer his name was to reopen a wound though he’d deadened to the pain
He’d never learned the trick of not bleeding in front of others,
Having for the millionth time the lining torn that would at the earliest chance regrow
Over the inside of his eyes and ears.
All he wanted was to be left alone,
Within the gossamer of his thoughts
And never to be stirred again,
Nor cut again.