Not My Own

The First Cut

Wasn’t the deepest.

No, not at all.

It was like the others,

a subtle rend of anxious skin,

a gentle pulse of crimson,

just enough to hush the demons shrieking inside my brain.

But this time they wouldn’t

shut up. Just kept on

howling, like Mama,

when she was in a bad way.


Worst thing was, the older

I got, the more I began to see

how much I resembled Mama,

falling in and out of the blue,

then lifting up into the white.

That day I actually

thought about howling.

So I gave myself to the knife,

asked it to bite a little

harder, chew a little deeper.

The hot, scarlet rush

felt so delicious.

I couldn’t stop there.


The blade might have reached

bone, but my little

brother, Bryan,

barged into the bathroom,

found me leaning against

Grandma’s new porcelain

tub, turning its unstained

white pink.

You should

have heard


him scream.”

– From Impulse by Ellen Hopkins (pg. 21-22)


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