While I looked for the peeler to skin potatoes,
peering at me from the drawer
a faceless glare of a knife
taunts me with a sinister laugh
of enticing intentions.

I lift the stainless steel away
from its silver company
my fingers tremble as I grip the knife’s body.

I hold my wrist over the sink and feel
the wetness trickle down my arm.
Pain slices thru my dull emotions
slowly cuts the drumbeat of despondency.

The blood comes-blade in, blade out.
I am always startled
how easily flesh slices.
The urge of fight or flight
but there is no escape
from your own ragged skin.

Drips of blood trump the logic
so I always press in deep
in search of what I need
to cut persistent agitations.

It is the sting that soothes
the bitter waters that flow in my mind.
Elation courses thru my body
as the river of blood subsides
now dividing flesh from pain and numb realities.

A year later, I prepare dinner
and stare at the crimson road atlas on my wrist.
These delicate thin lines of blade art
guide my thoughts with travels of release.

I now rely on this artistic reminder
to navigate the distance
between agony and relief.

It’s nice to explore
what lies under my flesh
when I entertain the pleasant
distraction of my thoughts.

I watch the sink splatter
when I wash all the scarlet stains away.
I always wipe the blade clean
after each peeling of emotions.

The scars now map storylines of traveling thoughts.
I look away from the seductive knife,
and wonder when I prepare my next meal
if I will convince myself
that I am the one in control.

Nov. 25, 2015
Mary Schmidt

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