Kaia Sherritt


you come out of the darkness
slowly, methodically
one half a pill at a time

at the break of day
before your half-life wears thin
you find your rucksack
and open it
looking for the prize
in the bottom of the box
the one they said was safe

you match the arrows
and snap the lid
like you’ve done a thousand times
and you pour the little ones
into your hand
careful to avoid the cracks

you go to the kitchen
and pull out the board
with the cuts that never bleed
and you rest your guilt
your shame, your sin
on the beauty of its rutted skin

you open the drawer
and find the knife
the one with the finest blade
the one he forged out of railway steel
as he took your youth away

and you strain your eyes
to see the line
that divides your surface in two
that cuts you in half
like the epitaph
you wrote when your father died

you position the knife
and gently press
like a bride cutting the cake
you want it split, not shattered
into painful slivers
or fleeting pieces of dust

the blade falls through
and you assess the cut
not perfect but it never is
then you swallow the whole
and then the half
and then you wait
for the tension to ease

you come out of the darkness
slowly, methodically
one half pill at a time

Kaia Sherritt is a disability advocate, poet, writer and artist. She lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. She has a neurological movement disorder called dystonia, and is dedicated to challenging mainstream views of disability.