a journal of fantastical poetry


by Shira Lipkin

They cut my name from me when I was but seven weeks old.
Slim silver knives and fishing hooks
digging it from my deepest places
murmuring to themselves
as they severed me from my self;
sewing me up with thick black thread,
coarse as a wild horse's mane.
For my own protection, they said,
so none could control me, capture me, harm me —
But it pulls, that thread, it binds me,
and names slide from me like oil, slick, uncatchable.

The scars run down my back,
neat diagonal slashes
deformed by scar tissue;
I might have had wings, my lovers said.
Trailing fingers down ridges,
licking the silver-shining trails
left by names as they fell

I might,
if not for being opened,
torn, defiled,
stitched upon myself —

I do not know who I might have been.

September 24th, 2012

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