paper cuts


When you first met me, you said you liked my
feathery words and pillowy thoughts, the way
I maneuvered through days lightly, gently, careful
not to take too much, and I saw how this softness
fit into your world of loud music late at night and
laughter that lasts until morning and the heaviest
of footsteps, the heaviest of strokes, shading
outlines black until you bore holes through
the page, the way a sharp ray of sunlight pierces
through paper when you hold a magnifying glass
over it long enough. But now you have pointed
that magnifying glass at our story, and the plot
is full of holes. Character inconsistencies. Cuts
that shouldn’t have been allowed but were, or
should have but weren’t. Some days you roll up
your sleeve, show me your bruises, say they came
from me, hinting at the pebbles I keep in my
pocket and the taste of metal brewing under
my skin. And some days you want me to harden
my cotton-spun heart, toughen it up against
knives, claws, teeth, nails, sharp rays of sunlight,
anything that can tear it apart, and you want me
to stop acting like everything is such a big
fucking deal when it isn’t—not to you. But it is
to me. So I build a shell around my softest parts,
seal it with a clear coat of resolve. Drop one more
pebble into my pocket every night before I go
to bed, leave my corners untucked. Hide all the
pages. Make sure you can no longer close in on
my softness and use it as a weapon against me.