Take black cloth,   & cut into diamonds
  like children signing   womanhood. Cover
every mirror.   Number the remnants, eyes that slide
over corrugated grayness,   duplicitous blooms
on identical caskets.   (Abysses even
tickle atonement, but we’ve   revised deliverance.)
  The knife, if you must,   should be held
underhanded, covered by the other   & plunged
in red measure, slick dark.   Now,
think of your skin as the edge    of a message (a letter
from a lover, or a W-2).   Slip in on the end
  & coast (or saw, or rock) across.   See? Fast as sleep,
out of one dark   & into another. It is not
uncommon to cry on the hilt,   for sakura
to shudder   on the waterside.
Don’t you want to write   the shame
out of your body?   Bleeding in your yukata,
  prayer is simply mutual    touch, a brushing
up against, apples   red & wrapped in rain.  
Why might one tuck   their hair behind an ear?
Speak up. To look   together when they go?
Nice supposition. You’ve   teased lucidity. Your quirk can be
the cursive   in the corner of your portrait.
  No tuition reimbursements   if you cannot reincarnate.
We meet next week   in 102. Bring rope
to bind your knees—this   is for falling like a lady.

CHAD FORET is a native of southeastern Louisiana. He completed his MA in Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he served as editor of Manchac Review. He is currently pursuing his PhD at USM. His work has appeared in Louisiana Literature, Country Roads Magazine, the anthology Down to the Dark River, and elsewhere.