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 and isolation





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

brutal self-talk

sharpened into knives

slices my self-esteem


into tattered ribbons

I am an expert at drawing blood

It beads up gently

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

and who 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. . .

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved



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