short stories



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When We Argue, When We Kiss
Tracey Sullivan

while I was out
you sharpened knives.
Stone wet and
steel flashing,
skill and ill will
scorched a fine blade onto them.

Sheathed again
in warm and amber wood,
with sly looks and
secret malice,
in the block
they waited.

I brought back
daffodils and simnel cake
and in the sunny kitchen
cut a slice –
of fingertip.

I watched with fascination,
crimson bloom,
it bled for ages
soaking into bread
and freshly laundered
clothes and pages.

the bloodless flap
exposes nerves and
wretched rawness.
Hair and air and merest touch
re-slice and send
a signal to
the brain of pain.

Again, again, again.


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