Monday, April 25, 2011


I cut my wrist with an Exacto blade,
made an incision to bilge the blue vein
so I might see my blood, reassure myself
it was pulsing.

When the wound bled wet and red,
I wrapped it tight with a kitchen cloth,
guarded my sleep throughout the night,
and swore never again to come so close
to killing.

The cutting was a bad experiment.

But how else might I feel the aching,
except to excise it from beneath my skin?
How else to recount and atone for my sins,
except to slay myself for God?

They told me I needed better coping
skills and meds, but really the bleeding
was enough to engulf the anguish
and flood my veins with vital signs
of living again.

Marking my skin, the scar is now
as thin as that blade, drawing a line
between dying and survival, reminding me
revival is as close as my wrist.

© Ami Mattison


  1. dang. fierce ami..i have worked with cutters before...the desperation to feel, or find a release...and felt the slight jab at the counselor on coping skills, which while true sounds like they are not hearing this person...

  2. When I was a kid I had an accident (a real one) involving a glass door window and my wrist. I was about six and I severed an artery. Lots of blood, panicking parents, stitches, etc.

    To this day blood - or sometimes reading about blood - can make me uneasy, even woozy. This was not one of those times.

  3. A dark look at our relationship with pain, which here seems to also be our relationship to life. Well written and thought-provoking.

  4. While I have never been a cutter, I can relate to the driving emotion behind it.

    How else to recount and atone for my sins,
    except to slay myself for God?

    So good.