blood

i am an explorer
going where no man or woman
has gone before

i am a deep sea diver
with like 80% of the essential
equipment

i am a revolutionary
learning about pressure
and thoughtlessness

i am in control
one wrong move
and it's the end.

the first time i drew my
own blood the house smelled
like rotting pine and gingerbread

i was twelve or thirteen or fourteen
the time goes by in valleys and mountains
when you feel the peace leave your body
for the first time

the funny thing is i can remember everything
about that day, what episode of NCIS was playing
what candle had broken to give me the gift of
sharp glass, what it felt like to do something so wrong
but to have it feel so comforting

my thoughts were quiet finally
i wasn't hurting anyone else
this was my solution

i learned first aid from there on out
what stops bleeding fast enough to
avoid getting it on your bedsheets
awkward questions, unrehearsed answers
never worked so well

the first time i stopped
i was invincible
the scars had hardened
my skin was thicker

but i'm a girl who likes a challenge
thicker skin means new tools
thicker skin means more pressure
thicker skin means balancing on that edge
thicker skin means taking a toe off that edge

my thoughts weren't quiet
i was hurting other people
my solution wasn't working anymore

the last time i drew my own blood
i did permanent nerve damage to my hand
a lesson that no person should have to learn
my skin was not as thick as i had hoped it would be
it yielded like butter
the skin, after all, made to be cared for
it is our armor
but it is soft to let in the beauty
and with all the hurt and confusion
that goes on in this world
we should keep that armor intact

the next time i want to  my own blood
i wont