Long ago you made the choice, that first cut,
You found the pain incredible, the blood a release,
The cuts were shallow, hardly scratches really,
They healed quickly, not even a scar left behind.

A choice, a choice to isolate, a life in constant shame,
You lie to those closest and dearest to your heart,
Sometimes now they take months to heal,
Scars carved into your flesh for all to witness.

You’ll define your life as before and after cutting,
Terrified you’ll fear the touch of a friend,
Skin burning from the sweet release of your blood,
Wincing you’ll fear the tender touch of a friend.

The cuts spread, no longer constrained to your arms,
Deeper they grow week by precious week,
You’ll realize you’re losing all self-control,
Fear your next cut, love it, how deep will it be?

Your life revolving around the next chance to cut,
A razor blade hidden away in your wallet,
Will today be the day you cut too deep?
A day when the blood won’t stop, gasping, shaking.

Blood won’t stop flowing, ever down your arm,
Fearful, terrified a panic attack chokes your heart,
Alone, always alone, you’ll swear you’ll stop,
A sweet lie as the blood pools in your hand.

This is just the beginning of the romance,
You’ll learn to take care of your one true love,
Antibiotic cream, bandages, medical tape,
The cuts will grow wider, grow deeper.

Watching, hoping to find someone who understands,
Searching, the signs will be everywhere and nowhere,
Long sleeve shirts, bracelets, wristbands,
But their skin will be untouched, perfect, and flawless.

Isolating more and more, alone, always alone,
Your last cuts deeper, burning through the shame,
The relief doesn’t last nearly as long anymore,
You know you need to cut deeper, wider.

You dream of cutting, or just letting one person know,
You love, you hate the day you made the first cut,
Each time you pray for the strength to push harder,
Rolling up your sleeve, face-to-face with your one true love.
~ Mark Bere Peterson (2013)

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