Sonnet with a Cut Wrist and Flies by Phillip B. Williams

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chirophobia | Luther Hughes

                                I.
blade to the soft flesh and the soft flashed open
      was the breakage of robins

                                II.
blood dripped to the floor
       splashed on the tile        painted a big one

                                III.
the slit would talk back sweet nothing in a red gown

                                IV.
wrist [rist] noun 1. the carpus or lower part
      of the forearm where it joins the hand.

to explore the joint         window
                                hinged on the edge
                of the body

                to slice it              to peek into the cut
and find the ribbon

                                V.
      blood veined by the rhapsodic

                                VI.
       a single mouth its total face

                                VII.
risk [risk] verb 2. to expose to the chance of injury
      or loss; hazard: to risk one’s life

as the mind was made enterable              a boy stepped into
                                was natural in him           was his
                and spectacular

                                VIII.
an artery’s plucked quatrains
                perfected through wreckage      a man
                                waited in the pulse

                                IX.
a man found in the wrist who wanted out but who
      put him in?

                                X.
he spoke the four languages of the heart
      he would             touch    the boy                would

                                XI.
hurt the boy and translate his screams
      into a fifth vernacular

                                XII.
the boy he entered        was put into       no more
                than an urn         than a tawdry vessel

                                XIII.
sacrifice [sák-re-fīse] noun 1. a giving up of something valued
      for someone or something else considered to be more value

the radius giving itself to the ulna
                                the man               himself hidden in the dark creases
                of vein-rope and contraction
                                                an artery’s hierophant drum
the man

                                XIII.
stepped out of the dark and into where the cut
                welcomed the room’s wattage

                                XIII.
stepped into the light his face a cut
                a black hyphen from which all speech

                                XIII.
from which all darkness was made legible

                                XIII.
        the single mouth his total face

                                XIII.
he would touch and call himself many names

                                XIII.
call himself a god but he was no god

                                XIII.
but was easy to believe him a god
                to walk to him to relive how he got there

                                XIII.
                stutter and suck

                                XIII.
was the sound of the cut closing
                in on them both to hold them there

                                XIII.
as before in the dark when no one was around
                blood wild with knowledge

                                XIII.
the man approached      was a knowledge himself
                his face the one written page

                                XIII.
his option the sole option
                                                he would take the boy
                be mnemonic
                                be what had always been prefaced to

                                                he reached out his hand

                                XIV.
and his fingers—thumbnail carving
                the boy’s cheek—touched          like flies

phillip-b-williams-by-rachel-eliza-griffiths
Phillip B. Williams

See all the pieces from 29 Days of Beautiful here.

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2 thoughts on “Sonnet with a Cut Wrist and Flies by Phillip B. Williams

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