The Cutter

A filigree of intersecting lines
pale as spider web against her skin –
it could almost be sunlight
silvering the bright hairs on her arm.

This is her talisman.

One time, when her mind was dark,
a blade between her fingers, she
incised a calendar of suffering there.
Hope drawn from each bright bead of blood.

Whatever she released did not return.

At times she looks
at what she once engraved
and sees a pattern
carved by someone else
who died completing it.

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