2014-2015, Poem


Featured in the 2014 Fall Issue of Rambunctious

Jack Radford, '16

I hate the way that cold metal feels upon soft skin,
but I still let myself bleed all over the operating table,
I still watched trickles of scarlet stain my legs 
and pools of red satin envelope my fingertips –
the clink of scalpels on the aluminum reminded me of songs you used to play over and over
until the whole world had heard your mind’s orchestrated enigma
through the windows of your dinged-up car.

I still have blood underneath my fingernails, 
so deep that even the finest soap hasn’t been able to penetrate its hiding spot,
only redden the surface of my skin to an unpleasant ruby color – like your lips,
always cracked in a crooked smile that tore your dimples into quarters;
nothing mattered when you smiled, the world faded away into swirls of blackness
and the blur of the cars hurrying down the street were of no significance.

my eyes had been glued shut by the delusive phantom of passion,
a blindness that couldn’t be altered by contact lenses or bifocals,
leaving me to be apprehensively led by a pair of bony hands and pristine wrists – yours –
and where did they lead me? 
you snapped your fingers and like a curse I followed your faint silhouette through the darkness,
slicing my feet open on glass and pressing them deeper and deeper into my flesh with every step,
but I never stopped – I treaded onward through thorny weeds and staggeringly hot concrete,
following the angelic façade of your voice.

you didn’t lead me home, or to your car, or to the many places I knew as familiar and safe, no –
you lead me down the darkest alleyways, made me swim through the most dangerous seas, 
made me cross the tightrope between sanity and disorientation –
you tricked me, you had always intended to make me hurt, to bleed, to suffer
and as my quivering hands shook in your grasp you turned me toward the abyss of disparity
and with an disembodied mutter – you pushed me,
and I fell deep and fast through the horrific confusion of imminent failure, 
of depression, of vacant hearts, of endless roads, of EVERYTHING I have dreaded 
and trusted you to keep me away from – 
my eyes creak open one time again, crusted shut with the pain of lust –
and there was blood underneath my fingernails.

there was blood underneath my fingernails. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *