The Pencil

The grinding sound graphite carbon cedar shavings. The point as sharp, needle so. No 4B but 4H — a line so fine from such a point it can barely be seen.

Sketching from nape to coccyx, two lines, meridians, as if ready to study the chi or chakra or guide the scalpel.

No grey on skin, the point raises a red welt all the way down, all the way up.

He was born with a tail, removed at birth, just a small bump left. Told before first swimming lesson, Mother warned, boys bullied….later boys paid.

Then he pays. The lines begin to bleed.

He cannot move, commanded, lays still even as the pencil digs deeper, the second stroke.

Soon the strip of skin is lifted, gently, in one piece. A belt, a trophy to the skill of this draftsman. The wielder of said pencil.

Why does he lay there so still? Is he conscious or perhaps he is drugged?

Yes, no.

We make choices. We do not choose to be born or where or to whom, all else is ours. We make of it what we can.

The blood is not stanched, he feels it tickles as it oozes down his ribs onto the table then to the floor.

The pencil draws his history, and as the cord is severed ~
he laughs.

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