The Cutting

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
This all fell apart with a mental breakdown that required hospitalization and I couldn't handle the pain of the relationship or the friendship or whatever it was after that. The entire thing was messed up and this is the poem that grew out of it.

Submitted: December 05, 2010

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Submitted: December 05, 2010

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There is blood.
There is a single edge razorblade.
There is a half drunk bottle of Jim Beam or DeWarr’s.
(it’s some kind of bourbon whiskey with a white label that I can’t remember)
and there is a pen-knife and a pile of unpaid bills
all lying atop a small glass topped kitchen table
in the dimly lit first floor room of a two-family house.
 
There’s her slashing.
Slashing back and forth with the single edge razorblade,
back and forth across her wrists, forearms and
all the way up to her biceps,
nearly up to her shoulders and her face.
 
She cuts herself.  Cuts herself,
not along the vein with meaning and genuine intent,
but cuts herself only against it.  She always went
against it.  And thinking, and looking back on it,
I wonder if she meant it at all.
 
Not the bloody spectacle that I saw.
Not the malevolent, narcissistic, nearly evil
and dangerous prescription drug, alcohol-fueled
and brain addled freak show of a life she led,
nor the murderous threats of violence she shrieked in my face,
or the daily war that she raged against my soul—
all those things are real.  I witnessed them.
 
But the despair and the pain;
the pitiful words that she uttered
and the affectionate touch she sometimes gave;
the playfulness I thought I could occasionally see behind her smile
and the emotion that I thought I could almost feel in her hug—
I wonder if she meant those things.
I wonder if she meant anything at all,
or if the only meaning of and inside her is in blood and hatred,
resting somewhere curled up in that small serpentine snake tattoo she had.
 
I remember it at night.
It was always at night.
It was at night when I woke from nightmares sweating,
with her laying next to me.
It was at night when all the young men came over,
some half-drunk and unwitting like me,
others with a  perverse, glazed over animal gleam in their eyes.
The story was always the same
and it was always kept in the darkness.
 
I remember it in images.
Images of blood and of her eyes mostly.
Her eyes, I could swear, spinning
in her head and changing color, literally.
She told me that she was chameleon-like.
 
There are more things in Heaven and on earth
than are even dreamt of in a philosophy like mine, and apparently,
there are even more things in Hell too.
 
“I think I’m going to kill myself.  Take me to the hospital,” she said.
I told her to, “Wait, don’t do that.”
“Yes, I’m going to do it,” she said with conviction, “cut myself
until I fill the bathtub with my own blood and drown naked in it.”
Some fucked up shit like that.
“No, cut me.  Cut me.  Cut me instead.”
 
Like a transference of Spirit.
It’s called a transmigration of souls in the Catholic tradition.
I used to doubt the existence of God, but now I pray
everyday on my knees below a crucifix
and I call on the Blessed Virgin each and every Sunday
to take on that pain from her that I adopted,
 
This is in the past,
but the prayer is endless and it is everlasting.
Now I have these scars, her scars, etched
into my flesh like stone, fading, but still
somehow, eternal like my prayers.
 


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