Gieve Patel, How do you withstand, body?

How do you withstand, body,
Destruction repeatedly
Aimed at you? Minutes,
Seconds, like gun reports
Tattoo you with holes.
Your area of five
By one is not
Room enough for
The fists, the blows;
All instruments itch
To make a hedgehog
Of your hide. It’s your fate,
Poor slut: To walk compliantly
Before heroes! Offering
In your demolition
A besotted kind of love:
Dumb, discoloured,
Battered patches; meat-mouths
For monsters’ kisses.

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Gieve Patel, How do you withstand, body?

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