Sharp sides inside your wrists
burst forth,
gleaming independent in the
in between of dreams
whose seams are slipping,
open at the edges
of conformity.

Turn around and listen.

You're bleeding through the bandages;
stains disdain suggestion,
spread to uniformity
subtly informing me
that you are dangerous,
contagious like your sister
who broke everybody's heart
with an ounce of lead.

I miss your harsh resistance,
your insistence that her choice
was truly selfish—
you talked me into corners
while her mourners dried their tears
on black dresses,
but not I;
your mother dropped your flower
into the casket
while we argued the same side
of the inevitable.

And now
you walk that sanguine path,
using her excuses for your own
expectant nooses
tightening so snugly
as you fall;
do you recall the promises
you made when we were broken?

Don't follow in the footsteps
of a stranger;
that girl who washed herself away
was not your mentor,
just a pale interpretation of pain
that would have faded
if she hadn't been so jaded and insensitive.

I don't want to cry for you
that same helpless way
when it's too late to ask
why
you couldn't try just a little harder
to feel loved.

I hold your heart in mine,
your hands which handle blades
with such precision,
such derision toward the beauty I adore
as I implore with desperation
for cessation
of this sacrilege.

I'm begging for your audience
once more.