Paper Cuts

by | March 8, 2015

I spent my time at school learning the art of getting by,

and how to fold myself into

smaller pieces.


I was crafty with my hands:

I folded tiny origami statues,

and I folded myself

into a sharp-edged sculpture,

smaller and smaller

until even the skin on my sides

inched between my ribs

to give my lungs space to breathe


and I sliced strawberry paper cuts

by accident

and my instinct

to create and

to shape

became insatiable

as I folded

and I folded

and blank paper

took on a life of its own.


Art is good for the soul

the nurses say—

but tell that to the toilet bowl:

my oesophagus is so full of acid

that my words

leave scorch marks on the hearts

of those I love the most.


I cannot unfold

the painstaking creases

that have taken years to make.

I cannot smooth out the lines

that have been folded over and over.


So I keep folding.

And eventually I will run out of space to fold.

Or I will run out of paper.


Image by Bill Noir