Don’t do yourself a violence, the teacher says.
What self, says the girl with the knife,
and which possessor?
Am I the hand that holds the knife
or the motor neurons that hold the hand?
Am I the pretty pink cheeks or the shitting buttocks,
the vulva that transports or the ponderous humps
between which the heart rides to exhaustion?

Preserve yourself, the priest says.
In a jar, says the girl with the knife,
I might survive, but pickle stings.
That’s why, she slices, I do this.
So that I can bleed into the brain that binds.
It’s a kind of love to want to dissolve,
and a kind of hate that keeps you striking
for your self in a life so borderless.

Stand up for yourself, the counsellor says.
I have tried without success, the girl replies,
pressed to the flowers of a blood-stained carpet,
to find a stalk that holds, that daily
reassures me of its rootedness and depth.
Even now, this carpet flies me off
with incalculable speed to a place of chaos
that, open as a blasted rock,
exposes me to every wind.