Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Monday, August 12, 2013

Spoon River Middle School: 40

Liz Cutler

Found in folder

No one knows a thing
about me.
I move up and down the hallways
not like I’m invisible, exactly,
because people see me.
Some of them move aside for me,
some make sure that I make room for them,
and some—
especially the kids who want me to vote for them in some campaign or other—
some of them will smile
and even say, “Hello,”
although I bet not one of them could tell you
my name.

So it’s not like I’m invisible.
No, it’s more like … I have no substance.
Like, if you held your arms out wide as wings as I walked by,
I’d slice right through them.
And you might feel a slight tingle—
ever so slight a tingle—
like you do in the summer
when you feel some kind of
bug moving on the back of your neck.
Or in school when you cut yourself
with a homework paper.

That’s all.

Not that I mind a lot.
I used to have a friend,
in my other school,
but she found another friend,
and then we moved.
I texted three or four times.
She answered

So I’m used to being alone.

To be fair:
Not much about me is noticeable.
I’m not tall, not short,
not fat, not thin.
My hair is regular brown.
So are my eyes.
No braces on my teeth
or anything like that.
You wouldn’t notice what I wear.
No designer labels,
no fancy costumes like Tisha Blacque
or Billy Kidd wears.
Just plain old ordinary clothes that don’t make
any difference.

One thing unusual about me, though.
My skin is perfectly clear and smooth,
like the skin of a baby, really.
Almost like silk or satin.

The way I dress, you wouldn’t notice.
I wear high necks, long sleeves and Levis.
About all you see of me that someone didn’t buy in a store—
my face,
my hands.

If I ever showed you my arms,
which I won’t,
you would be surprised.
So smooth and clear and clean.

Except for those places,
those few places,
when I’m feeling bad about something,
I take a razor blade from my dad’s cabinet,
slip slowly back to my room,
silently close and lock my door,
roll up my sleeve,
find a silky perfect spot,
and let the blade glide along it,
dividing skin from skin
with a thin red line.

So sweet,
the touch of that cold blade on my warm skin,
so beautiful,
the blood that seeps into that thin red line,
the blood that flows straight from my heart,
and then outside,
to decorate my silky, perfect skin.

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