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Each cut: a strategic battleground placement. Trenches

             in the war. Burrowed and deep, one after another—

this one dedicated to myself, this one to her, this one

             to the strange and terrible shapes that battered within me,

fingers pressing out from inside my body, purpling. This one

             nicked recklessly in the first wave and this one

carved painstakingly over miles and miles of stalemated time:

             hunched over in the bathroom sink, a body so disgustingly

unmarred, a smooth expanse of skin waiting for war. Blood bubbling

             in tender formation. I told her it was a rite of passage,

that she might’ve done it too, once, when she was young,

             or at least cradled the thought in her head. I interrogated myself

over and over again on sanguinary doctrine. The plan:

             drown the enemy in crimson grooves. The plan:

hurl Molotovs down the gaping line. The plan:

             deploy a daisy cutter to flatten forests, the arteries

of oak roots and wildflowers, stinging. I can wince now

             at the thought of a blade ripping through me, at the burning

and scabbing that followed. Back then, I never winced. Back then,

             I wanted to cut to the bone.

Yejin Suh is a Korean-American student in New Jersey. She has been recognized by the Scholastic Awards. Her work appears in Crashtest Magazine, The Eunoia Review, and Just Poetry.

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