Scalpel

by Richard Moorhead
Wild Poetry Forum
Highly Commended, May 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


Like wire but stronger, glass – a sheet thereof
thin as grief, pushed beneath a fingernail,
or in the coppery swamp of bloody tongue.
Might snip away the flap of skin that tenses

to the jaw. How easily it glides like lies
through the merely meat of me. Apart from
doctors, who is more superior?
I wonder.
After the first shock of pain (I cannot ever

capture how everything just stops), the rooted
socket like some just wrenched tooth glows
if I worry it with broken bone. The blunt end
of a finger satisfies, the sharp end’s splinters

heat me up. Everyone, unless you fight back,
may be how I heed advice. They say they have
the sharpness of diamonds, but I will not be
satisfied with simply being told.


Very interesting ideas and images, just marred by occasional archaism (“thereof”) and clotted syntax. --Fiona Sampson

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      Honorable Mention

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