This, then will cure me,
no, not that, an edge of knife

self-turned to pinch at wrist,
not slice, just tip in to test
resolve, not once,
twice to be certain,

I am too much
coward for whip-wounds,
self-inflicted scourges,

this, too, requires courage,
wind whipping at bare throat
sleeveless, tongue to ice
burn, braver than most,

cauterized at the raw stitch,
always, always the stubborn
yearn, a year-long sigh,

witch’s wish, itch, fingers
finally relenting to self-touch,
to moan, to rise, to cry,

to fall and all, all in too
soon repetition, a turning record,
an elegant scratching slide
scratch slide, needle,

at this, lover, at this
parting, widening, river

reaching its own mouth.

Photo Credit: -Jeffrey- Flickr via Compfight cc

Tamara Miles

Tamara Miles teaches college English and Humanities. Her poetry has appeared in Fall Lines; Pantheon; O’Bheal Five Words, Tishman Review; Animal; Obra/Artifact; Rush; Apricity; Snapdragon; Crosswinds Poetry Journal; Whatever Our Souls, Cenacle, and Oyster River Pages. A 2016 contributor at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and a resident at Rivendell Writers Colony in August, 2017. She has an audio poetry journal/radio show at SpiritPlantsRadio.com called “Where the Most Light Falls.”

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