In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Cut

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I cut myself last night, a slice not deep but well-placed

like a knotted finger string, center tip of the left index

or pointer, that guiding gun dog of the hand.

It happened as I chopped and spoke, diced and

listened, as she teasingly warned, “Careful. Don’t cut yourself.”

And then, not five minutes after smug riposte, “I don’t cut myself

any more. I’ve been chopping longer than you’re alive,” the eye first,

followed a hair-pin later by stinging prick alarm, ending with

stifled exhale and reflex footing to clear water.

Quick pouring like a scalp wound, I swiftly improvised a napkin

tourniquet, then resumed my chop in plump, papered digit,

slow labor, but serviceable, hidden, blunted, wrapped

crimson seeping like shame, pride and irreverence tucked

under the skin resting on disbelieving bones.

I slipped so quickly to the sink and back, returning

to my task unfazed and fluid, so they wouldn’t see, she

who pronounced my fate and the other who witnessed.

Brushing off the slight speed bump in the banter, I turned

the absorbing wrap growing redder toward me, out of sight.

And soon they left me for work and parties, wounded, hindered

and aching to know, the pain signal, what attention needed

paying, which moment or opportunity squandered.

Today, I press it, that slit in consciousness, right thumb to

left index, cataloguing input–sensory, intuitive and cognitive–

carefully20160807_202150.jpg caressing the seconds at my fingertips.

 

 

 

 

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