“Do You Want To Know Why I Use A Knife?” (2/30)

when the cold blade touches warm skin
you feel it setting off an alarm
deep in your memory
that you have been here before
the sharp taste of metal
the long road to recovery
you swore you wouldn’t let this happen again

when the skin separates
like newborn calf
ripped away from crying mother
you can hear the screaming for hours
feel it prickle your arm
run ghost down your spine
accept this haunting as your birthright

when the tip dips into the muscle
you grow dizzy
knees buckling
lip quivering
try reminding yourself that
pain is only temporary
and scars be like
faded pencil markings on door frame
every year
growing taller and deeper

when the blood comes
as it always does
as it always has
as it always will
when it runs a river of apologies
staining the carpet
will you run too
will you stay away this time
will you grow sick of the magnolia scent
will you grow tired of performing sutures
will you finally take the knife
from my sweaty shaking palm

this is what it feels like
to be sliced open

this is how I bleed for you

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