My Scissors

I will not write of my scissors, not here.
Ignore my poem’s title, done only for me
with something else in mind I’ll leave unnamed.
Ignore any edges in this that seem sharp
enough to serve as metaphorical substitutes.
Dismiss any other instrument used to cut.
I won’t be picking up my scissors, not this time.

I still remember so little of it all, even now.
Like someone took their own scissors to it.
See, that’s the risk I knew I’d take writing this.
That’s why I cautioned: put the scissors down.

What little I brought back out, that much
of it was gleaming, very straight, razorlike
and never still, never waiting to slice:
yes, scissors. And I did want to say so.
I couldn’t find how. No one seemed to know.
I was given a recommendation who might do.
That went nowhere. I’ll make do on my own.

Were you aware how often we cross lives
with one or another of our orthogonal twins?
Our alleged evil one we point to for the blame,
our alter ego or echo or parallel world’s version.
We do. You don’t need to believe it of me,
it happens like atoms split whether or not.
And used to be, every generation or so,
one of us might accidentally get switched.
Then we played around too much with matter
and subatomic particles and bombs and scissors,
and we lost our control over the borders between,
and crossing over became the new normal.
By now, it’s become a standard daily ritual:
wake up here, count on being there by night.

Know where that’s all going? Watch the scissors.
Some of us, it’s already doing it multiple times
across multiple parallels into multiple discontinuities
continuously. Like here, like with my scissors.
It has happened more than twenty crossings
since I started the first draft of this,
and already I’ve had doubles of mine alter it
more than twenty times since, all along
skimming through like an ice skate’s blade.

It isn’t just me. It isn’t just what I went through.
It has nothing to do with how little time I have.
It’s the scissors, like when the train stops
and the entire world outside keeps hurtling on
and most of the riders never even glance up
from their newspapers or commuter conversation.
That’s what it is, though: it’s the scissors.
But I’m insane, and this isn’t about any of it.




background notes — heptahedral


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