A Fairy Tale in Retrograde—Louise Mather

content warning: self harm

I showed you the edge
of my thigh where I had first
held blunt
jawed compasses, plum handled
scissors and tinselled
razors loosed from cold
plastic bone.
Under the gloaming, you could dredge
their auras
of roses, leftover imprints, ethereal
cavities, ugly violet
jags and rails
of lines without
anchors. Sometimes I thought
they were remembering forks
from a devil’s bramble
tongue or feline gouged
with a claw that had never known 
its own 
sharpness. I told you how I could measure
time by these marks –
then you bit right there
into the doughy flesh and I hallucinated;
that you were telling me something small like
love, as I finally
fell
into deep, deep
velvet sleep; a fairy tale
in retrograde.

Louise Mather is a writer and poet from England. You can find her on Twitter @lm2020uk and her work/upcoming work in Streetcake Magazine and The Cabinet of Heed

photo by Annie Spratt (unsplash)