It began with a break that wrenched my heart, a red-bloom sack, back into my hollowed chest-- a coffin that had been recycled after a few good deaths. I regrew two months in an old cast on a regimen of self-love and strawberry toast, reminiscing tales of Venus and Rhiannon, who I believed once ran ghostly white through my veins and then exited as newborn of my guise. O body! I regret the dust that had settled in your stomach; the bones that couldn’t even mold the blood was too dry; the worth that looked leonine but was serpent in the placid waters and bartered with me to cross where a noose was tied to my name; the skin that twisted at the sight of blighted bloated bones the hands of scandal held tight. Gone, gone, gone were the days before calamities rang in my ears and tamed me submissive to a garden that refused to flourish but, rather, grew into itself to protect the roots.