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you cannot be hurt
just because the bait is set
you cannot be hurt
by sucking the scent of it into your nostrils
even tasting the fresh flesh
cannot hurt you
even after the hook is lodged in your cheek
you can be released and live again
it is only when you succumb
to the gutting
when you see your own entrails splayed
shimmering upon the dry grey dock
life slowly ebbing, slipping between planks
that you can be hurt
but only if you attach your heart to your guts
and you needn’t
so many walk these docks with no insides at all