The cure for the pain
is in the pain.

Clean out the wound
so it doesn’t scar.
My grandfather poured
Dr. Tichner’s Antiseptic
into my brother’s leg,
where the piece of fence was lodged,
dug out the soothing salve
my grandmother had rubbed on.
He thought he’d die, my brother says,
and still has a scar.
But it might have been worse, I imagine,
if not for Grandpa’s ruthless cure.

The branded girl on t.v.
poured acid on her chest
to obliterate the letters.
Do what must be done to heal,
gouge out the wound,
pour acid in.
And then forget.