I lay my neck on the blade of your axe.

My throat will bleed if I speak.


You tell me

you've been telling me lies.

You're revising every laugh

and every caress to restore truth

to the past. You explain

what I've done to deserve this.

You feel much better, now.


I feel like a dwarf in a fun house.

No mirror will ever be normal again.

Shrunken, twisted, I spin

and claw at glass.

I don't know how to be seven

distorted versions of myself.


So, take my head off! Why wait?

Ah, we are stuck. You won't let go

and I won't move my neck. 

Fine red lines stripe my pharynx,

raw callouses bubble on your hands,

while axes multiply

and infinite mirrors lie.


Sara Backer


First published in Raven