Papercut

I licked the envelope too hard
And cut my tongue.
Can you keep a secret?
The silent and searing kind.
I am afraid,
Afraid of edges and inky blood.
I jerked soundlessly when it happened.
A slender sizzling line,
I hid between my lips:
Tingling, faded.
But the pain clung on,
To parts of the day,
To unlikely moments –
That never seemed difficult.
A sharp ache,
A rusty old taste,
An injured tone.

Little things make you remember.
I remembered
To feel pain, again:
It was neither receding,
Nor distant smoke in the horizon.
I kept the secret with me
Closely, consciously,
And it felt like I was
Bled white, deep inside,
With no defense but
A lame excuse to hate.
This is my mute protest;
Words are too glib.
On the tip of my tongue
I caught you,
When you cut me unawares.

Yet another letter
Better left unsent.

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