(back to Bode
     Hall home)

Razor Blades

After all your preparations, despite the best 
Smokescreen and glare filters memory could buy, 
Random heads of hair flung about in front of you 
Still draw you in.  
She's just looking at the other stoplight,
Checking for yellow.  It's not her.  You've been targeted special 
For the occasion.  Oh no.  
Do I cross against it?  You finger your watchband at the curb,
Silent, raging.

Razor blades come out

Come a time when I thought myself hard as glass.  
It happened this way.  An empty oven 
Stoked by an unfamiliar hand.  Heat.  
The soft sand gathering in a flat basin, 
Licked by flames, glittering.  
A friend with a stick sees and stirs.  
Grains flow together and lose their form.  
The stick dips and takes, 
Fires are banked, 
I am a pool.
My friend and I spin me in gentle gusts 
Of thought, and steam rises off of me.  
Now I have a place inside where the fire can live forever.
I pull the stopper deep into myself 
And wonder where it went.

Razor blades come out

Out will save you.  
The finish line will make you a runner.  
Out is the answer.  Stay close to the candles.  
Out is where your nerves all point.  
Inside that door it's all dark and close.  Out to lunch,
Getting nutrition.  Monsters lurk in there.  
Out where the tide goes
When it starts to miss the sea.  
Coats and umbrellas.  
Out in the open, where are hot and cold and wet and 
The wind hisses through a million little gaps, 
Waves a million branches,
Tells you who it sees down here.  
Wrap yourself in them, hold them over your head.  
Enough to bulk up to the size 
Of a real person, and step out.  
Nobody told me I had to do this naked.

Razor blades come out of the drugstore.  

Smile out of one side while you draw him up 
Over the other cheek.
Whipped foam parts when you do this; do not despair.  
Feel him slicing into each strand.  
Sting of a thread being pulled.
Release as the cut end sinks back.  
Press of skin blanket smoothing itself over 
And around after.  
Sting, release, press.  
Sting, release, press.  

Again, and again, and again, and again, and again.  Splish.

So warm.

The mirror will see you again one day.

-skyler, March 2001