Before I learned how to torture a single metaphor into a poem, and waiting out the hot rain on interminable summer nights, the blood flowed without restraint. I cataloged the variations between myself and my father, who was the original bleeder, handkerchief forever to his face. My father would never betray a sorrowful emotion, though his nose did it for him, a crooked river of blood as consolation. My nosebleeds began as a pseudo couvade syndrome, and always while I was in school, where the loss of blood corresponded nicely with the measuring of all my deficiencies. It was an education just to count how many things there were to lose. My father's blood spoke an in-between language to the memories that he couldn't. Mine spoke what was to be. That was the year the old nun who sat in the office at the end of the hallway would usher...

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