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Of Orchids and Innocence


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I hold the knife, point in the air, before me.
It is a kitchen knife, used to nothing but scoring oranges
and chopping figs.
An innocent knife. I bite my lip.
Flipping it point down now,
I touch the tip to my index's soft pad.
Licking dry lips next. My self-appointed deed is not an easy one.
Hand holding the innocent knife shakes,
but exhaling slowly I press the little point harder against resistance.
The pink skin around this tiny point slowly bleeds to white, until I start to feel--
a slow intake of air reverberates through my body.
Shaking hand presses harder.
Eyes wide.
Pain blossoms.
A beautiful crimson rose--
But no.
No, not a rose. For Pain does not endeavor to conceal its malice.
It has no thorns.
An orchid. Pain is a red orchid.
Sweet, sickly sweet, scarlet blossom.
But if you gaze for too long,
maybe the color will
burn your eyes.
Shaking hand, shaking knife, presses harder still.
A small drop of scarlet red--Orchid Pain red--wells up around the tiny point.
Feverishly, I drag my hand in a slow line across my finger's pad:
bottom to top. Simple.
But my hand is shaking hard.
A jagged line.
Tears caused by it,
Orchid Pain,
form,
but I do not notice.
More scarlet wells. I hardly notice this, either.
Until a large drop gets so large that it runs slowly--
smoothly--
not jaggedly--
down the gleaming silver length of my innocent blade.
My muscles jerk,
jarring the knife from my grasp and allowing another drop of blood to fly off my finger.
I am suddenly aware of
the tears on my cheeks.
I look down at the innocent blade--
the blade that is no longer innocent.
The blade that has now seen dark deeds.
I wrap my finger slowly in
gauzy sterile white bandage.
Heart beats fervently in my lungs.
Orchid Pain--Orchid Pain still throbs in my index,
and I imagine it
is grinning at me,
smugly.
Soon, it will not grin
smugly.
Soon, it will beckon to me a second time:
a sweet, sweet, deadly embrace.
But next time, I will remember.
I will remember the no-lomger innocent knife
and the tears warm on my cheeks,
and I will remember how I gazed too long at the beautiful, crimson orchid, and how the beautiful, malicious orchid
burned my eyes.



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