The Potomac - Poetry and Politics
December 2006 - THE POTOMAC

Sharp Objects
   Jen Michalski

We take the dog on one of her long walks, following the perimeter of the harbor down to Henderson's Wharf, then back. I am quiet; you intermittently discuss the future. Would you like to look into buying one of the waterfront townhomes? No, I decline. Too expensive. We need to get a sailboat. You can always sail on your father's, I answer noncommitally.

I have a sharp object hidden in my hands. At some point, I must be ready to plunge it into your heart.

Not tonight. It can never be taken back once it is done, the stab. There is no room for error.

Recently, I have seen your weapon as well, the glint from your waistband. It reassures me, knowing you are prepared. Perhaps you will make a preemptive strike.

But are you prepared? You complain your hand hurts; it dangles, flaccid by your waist, next to your knees, which also ache.

Why are you not a bear charging instead of this fragile deer?

I lie awake, feeling the edge on my fingers. I toss and turn and feel its teeth in my stomach, my arms, my neck. I must sleep with it, night after night, so that you don't find it.

You will always know its purpose.

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