my father buys bread and wine at the corner store. bread that is too hard, wine that is too bitter. he collects my teeth in a jar, my hair in a plastic bag. my childhood form is sacred. a danube river body. he gulps that river clean. he drinks and he drinks and he drinks. my father’s belly is so full of water he might explode!
you see this? it’s sacrilegious to want something more. 
        when i’m eleven, he asks me to declare a martyr. i say my martyr is broad-shouldered, a hunk. my martyr is an accountant, an interior designer. my martyr will bear me a child before i bear it. my martyr is drop dead gorgeous, and yesterday he shaved his head.
        when i’m fifteen, i visit the danube without my father and i cry with my head brandished towards the sky, staring up at a golden statue. you see this? river-full, river-run-brown. i declare a new martyr:
        my martyr is an apple sitting on the windowsill. luscious, ruby red, newtonian. my martyr is a collapsed body on the bed. the bed, so dishevelled. the body, a frame. my martyr is a friendship strung clean. my martyr is two people with everything to say sitting in silence. a frozen field, a plot of land. my martyr is the touch of another. the touch of someone you can touch, but shouldn’t. my martyr is fleshless, my martyr is juicy. a blade of grass, a glass of milk. my martyr is hyphenated and backspaced. my martyr wears all black, but when they feel sexy they dress up wickedly bright. my martyr is so achingly beautiful they make me bruise my knees and die before them. die over and over and over again.