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Aug 2019
This is how
the Romans
slit their wrists,
Yiska said,
and moving
a blunt butter knife
down her wrist,
imitated the act.

I watched
and saw a red indentation
taking shape
as she moved away
the blunt blade.

If that were a razor blade,
I'd be on the way out
of this mad hole,
she said,
but it wasn't,
and she wasn't,
and so the drama,
the rehearsal,
as she termed it.

We were fellow suicidals;
prisoners in the locked ward
for our troubles,
and the nurses our warders
good and bad,
and the quacks,
our interrogators,
moles into our minds.

She had slit her left wrist,
but they found her in time,
and dragged her back
to the land of the dead.

I attempted to hang,
I said,
but was saved
by some busybody
passing the bog,
and they cut me down,
before death
could welcome me
with its cold
clutching arms,
and brought me
to this hole
within a hole.

She replaced
the butter-knife
on the butter-dish,
and lighting us
both cigarettes,
made her silent
death wish.
Terry Collett
Written by
Terry Collett  72/M/England
   Lora Lee and ---
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