Let It Bleed

A wise woman once told me that there’s an acceptable amount of time after you’ve been seriously hurt where you are allowed to concentrate on understanding the pain.  The source, the depth, the intensity. Analyze it, explore it, cry and get pissed, write it out, wallow.

Let it bleed, she said, but not for too long.

And then you gotta cauterize it.

self preservation

like a thumb flayed
on a jagged tin lid
the metallic
ache of betrayal
sears every fold
of my mind
and singes
every fiber
of my

you ask
what i want
now that my vanity
has been thoroughly severed

well, i want the nerves
to grow back,
eyes free from tears,
and to plan my next step
more carefully


somewhere on the russian taiga of human emotion

each syllable freezes
in the subzero dawn
i cry across
the tundra:
meet me half-way!

an icily formed
gesture of
good intent

you never even
considered one step
to mete the distance
and instead
make a cool



you can’t have me
beyond the memory
of who you mistook me to be

keep me there –
part of your own
false narrative

while i strike out
on a path of my
own dictation

past claims
carry no weight

we are free, now
from any weak promises
or aborted sense of duty

i am not something
to be shelved
and taken out
at your leisure

you can’t have me to peruse

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