Bloodletting (Revisited)

I am doing

what I do best

Living inside my head


in the early hours

Listening to music

that breaks my heart

Over and

over again

Easy to set Spotify

To repeat play

songs that do

The most damage


Feeding the longing

Feeding the ache

Adding old newspaper

dry wood

To the cast iron stove

Where my pain






Seemingly unable

to stop myself


I recognize

that this is a form

Of psychic self-harm

emotional self-mutilation

Music becomes

invisible fingernails

picking at my scabs

My brutal self-talk

Sharpens into knives

Slices my self-esteem



tattered ribbons


I am an expert

At drawing blood

It beads up


on the surface

at first

Before starting

to drip

Before starting

to pool

Before starting

to stream


The secret shame

is not

that I do this at all

The secret shame

is that

it is oddly comforting


like welcoming an old friend

Whom I love dearly

But is a terrible

influence on me

Always stays too long

At least

when I feel this pain

I am feeling something

I must be alive

I must be real

And so I bleed


  1. Listening to music that breaks your heart and being fingernails picking at scabs–oh how true for me also. Love that line about the fingernails. I absolutely do this same thing to myself and often wonder why. Maybe it is to want to feel “something.” Really great write.

    Liked by 1 person

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