“Handle with Care”

The first cut stung. I watched the blood rise like a tide and spill down into my elbow. Shit, what had I done? I ran the cold water, held my forearm underneath it until the  blood slowed.

Then I made another parallel cut.

They weren’t on my wrists, don’t think I was trying to kill myself. I just wanted to hurt, and understand exactly why I was hurting. This made sense: you cut, you felt pain, period. I could feel anything building up inside of me like steam heat, and I was just turning a valve. It made me think of my mother, when she made her pie crusts. She’d prick little holes all over the place. So it can breathe, she said.

I was just breathing.