What I remember is the razor, a box cutter slipped up my sleeve. Just a stupid kid. A flick and flash beneath the lunch table, the snikt caught in the acoustics, even amid all those voices. Check it out, see that gleam. Jerked by the shirt to a little room and big ruler, inch-thick and hungry. Stinging palms pressed together. Screams that scaled the cork board walls. They’ve left you with nothing, a voice said. Your hands hold only empty air. Now walk until you cross the tracks. Behind the gray garage I sat, smoking menthol cigarettes and rooting around the ground, throat shard-sharp in the Midwest winter. Cut before they cut you first, I heard, and mourned the solace of the blade’s mean edge.
William R. Soldan lives in Youngstown, Ohio, with his wife and two children. His poetry has appeared in publications such as Jelly Bucket, Jump: International Journal of Modern Poetry, Neologism Poetry Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology, and others.