Sunday, November 06, 2005

Deep Cuts

These deep cuts empower me. They make me feel real
They make me feel alive. My skin is a canvas
On which I draw, on which I map out
The course I will take and these scars
On my arms, on my legs scream out my history
To the wind and the water flowed into the bath
Boiling, scalding, my skin while my mother
Answered the telephone, whispering into the receiver
Talking to her lover in their own secret language
One that excludes me but my howls of pain
Drew her back to me. And now I construct
Stories in my head, tales in which she is the enemy
And my fury reasserts itself. And every rime I cut
I remember that brief time in which she cared for me

Pale peach skin wrapped in bandages
Her hennaed hair and her fluttering hands
Shrouded in perfume, face contorted with guilt
And I loved it – the effect my injuries had on her
And for I moment it was as though I had not
Spoilt her life. And she stopped seeing me
As a burden. She, who was once a delectable
Débutante, whirling across the dance floor, a column
Of pale blue silk floating through the air, admired
By academics, suited, booted, and she married one
Of those pink-cheeked innocents, a mere boy really
But he took the lead and she marched after him
Up the aisle, rendering all that learning,
All that knowledge obsolete

And her mind, for want of stimulation,
Crumbled in on itself like stale wedding cake
Burdened by those books hidden in cellars
Containing all those facts, all that knowledge,
She gleaned in college. And she hugged delicious
Memories to her chest, burdened by child after child
Spending the prime of her life, polishing
Another family’s silver, cherishing another family’s heritage
And she inwardly raged and she turned back the pages
Of her history and she opened those closets to see
Her old college ball gowns, damp and eaten away
By moths, those old photographs in albums, torn and ragged
And fat clung to her bones and she hovered on the jagged
Edge of madness. And they dragged her away

On that day on which the thread
Finally snapped. And I never saw her again
And this pain I inflict upon myself
Is my only connection to her.


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