Smells Like Teen Syrup

When the suds ran red against my forefinger and thumb
I dropped the sponge and inspected the dishes
for any crimson stains
before I rinsed my hands and tended
to my cut. I remembered
how many times I had stood at this sink
with a sponge in one hand, a knife
gripped in the other, its silver steel
glistening
in the fluorescent light
like a moonbeam, a dreamscape
a promise for releaselet the blood
drain like dirty water
let it swirl and puddle
toward its inevitable end
How many times
did I pull away the knife
set it aside, soapy and smirking
at my own weakness, fearing
the pain, the tear, the scars
I’d have to hide. Was it shame
that became my shield?

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2 thoughts on “Smells Like Teen Syrup

    • Thank you! The poem was originally longer, and made the title make more sense, but I trimmed it down because the rest wasn’t working. But by then, the title was set and didn’t want to change.

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