Bleeding is easy. The dermis is silly thin, and I’m all so sanguine beneath. There’s no resistance to slice. Slice after fruitful slice, I tickle the ligaments beneath, praying none rip and release my grip on this knife forever. I buy another sweater. I throw away another t-shirt. Two boys in P.E. call me crazy after Tuesday's mile test. The sweat was true, and I knew more than they could imagine what sweat felt like on skin, open skin.
Mom’s looking for the bread knife in the kitchen when I come back from my room. Her hair is up and flour is the foundation of both her flushed face and the dish-rocked room. “Goddamn bread will be done in two minutes, your father home in three and I can’t find the fucking-” Pausing and meeting my eyes, She hawks a starchy mucus into her mouth that interrupts her powerful breath for briefly enclosed stirring of the tongue, and then swallows the mass- “Have you seen the bread knife?” I blank, she doesn’t. “Stupid! Have you seen the serrated-- you probably don’t know what that means. It's the long one, with the teeth, and the yellow handle.” She chomps aggressively to highlight the dental metaphor, which reveals that the glob was not yet down her throat. I reach, handle forward, with the knife in my hand. She snatches it with a quick angle that cuts open my thumb-index webbing like a fish mouth. And we’re all gaped now.
Ryan is a player of words.
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