Poem about a man who picks up a book in a bargain bin and recognized the author as somebody he used to know.
An excerpt but it’s not the only reference to self-injury in the poem:
the name I knew her by twenty years ago, the one
she’d give to herself, not a name really but an assault
on her name, an activity spelled out in scars
across her stomach and down her thighs, not imperfections
of skin as first I’d thought, not anything at my age then
I could imagine or easily comprehend or not doubt
except when she said how only recently she’d stopped
cutting herself. “I’m a bleeder,” she said. And that’s
the name I’ve thought of through the years when
I’ve thought of her. The razor made her feel
both better and worse about herself. “Worse,” she said,
because you could not respect the inch of suicide each slash
defined and “better” because at least you’d done something
to confirm your utter worthlessness.
Poem Title A Remainder
Author Michael Collier
Source The Ledge: Poems
Edited by Hannibal
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