One man breaking another at the knees,
concrete shins shattered,
patella split like pistachio shell.
The public canings had to stop
and so it bit back one day.
It bit with the ferocity of fourteen years chained to a wall,
first glimpse of its star,
first scramblings up a dirt road.
It bit with the might of a nation under siege,
rocket teeth on apartment nailbeds,
tearing the crossroads up at the white lines.
It bit like capscaicin under the lids,
bhut jolokia shavings stapled to the cornea
and plastered over with Glad cling seal.
If bit back like the man in Unit 731
strapped beside his vivisected brother,
leather over his wrists and ankles.
It bit like it knew
than to bite.
It bit through leather straps
and gold chains.
It bit through jade amulets
Through age and a forgotten life,
it bit through skin and bone,
it bit through vein,
it bit through a mother’s child.
It bit with eyes shut
and breath held.
It clenched for a moment
and then it bit harder.
It shook and tore,
it bit of spite,
It bit for the others,
it bit for itself,
it bit for you,
and then it bit for me.
It bit, then ran, then built up an army,
and then it hashed.
One man breaking another at the knuckle,
pane glass shattered,
nowhere to run.
Bitten by fourteen years
then chained to a wall,
lights turned out,
and forgotten amongst the nutria skins,
It bit because it had to.