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Silence is Not Golden


I am caught between the snake and the prey right now. Let's hope no swallowing is involved.


Here's a poem which circumstances demanded, though not in the way the poem implies. I just found out that Down Dirty Word nominated it for one of the best of the web anthologies. I appreciate that gesture, Katie and Jim. It wears its spleen on its sleeve, ergo, won't get in. But anyway, here it is:

Cutter

Between the witching hour and its successor, 
I caught her with my utility knife in the open closet, 
   
drawing a dark rill of blood from her forearm; 
I watched unsure of what to say or do, frozen, 
   
more or less, in the mountain of air separating us. 
Wise words slipped from my mouth like indigo birds 
   
into the caries-colored early evening, supported by 
nothing I could draw on from reality. In the end, 
   
this poem will rise and fall on the relative success 
of what I should have said, known, thought, or taught. 
   
Before. Instead things fall apart as I grasp her 
by the forearm, press the brachial artery and try 
   
to ignore her pleading, I just want to die, then Daddy, 
then Daddy again. When all the bad things happen 
   
in the world, someone told me once, God's heart is the first 
to crack, but no one, no thing breaks our silent lock. 
   
I hold her in my arms; my hand fills with her blood. 
Her pale face a giant tear. Her blood sauna-warm. 
   
I wish I could say something shifted in me too. 
But I just wanted my daughter to be well enough 
   
to someday peek at me over the edge of a book 
and smile. 

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